Published: Friday, August 22
Source of Article: http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=f5918976-7156-4037-8bb8-8adfdfcb39cb
A nationwide outbreak of food poisoning, possibly connected to contaminated meat products, has led people across Canada to ask just how well protected Canadians are when it comes to food-borne (and other) threats to public health.
To date, one person, in
The link between the food poisoning and its likely cause was made thanks to
is hardly surprising that
This listeriosis case does not, of course, compare
with the SARS epidemic, which killed 44 people in
But in the absence of information from other provinces, the Public Health Agency of Canada cannot systematically analyze information. It cannot detect a pattern in data it doesn't receive.
This needs to be corrected. All jurisdictions should see the obvious
advantages of sharing information about public health risks with each other and
Meanwhile, this case will also raise some questions in the public mind about planned changes to the federal meat-inspection system. An agriculture department document is reported to have outlined a plan to leave meat inspectors with only "an oversight role." Industry would implement and run food safety control programs.
That might be fine. This problem, after all, occured before this change was made. No system is perfect.
Whatever the rules, industry has a strong interest in selling healthy products, as Maple Leaf's vigorous, transparent effort this week demonstrates. But Canadians expect full explanations, and the assurance that the public interest comes first.
On food safety, Canadians will want redundant measures to make sure we are in no danger. And who can blame us for that?
Copyright (C) All rights reserved under FoodHACCP.com
If you have any comments, please send your email to email@example.com