New food inspection system improves safety
The B.C. government’s new meat inspection system reinforces the province’s reputation for safe and wholesome meat by continuing the current safeguards and inspection system in provincially licensed Class A and B abattoirs.
The new system follows extensive consultation with ranchers, abattoir operators, local governments and small-scale ranchers with licences to sell their meat at the farmgate. Abattoirs will continue to require the presence of a trained government meat inspector to inspect each animal (livestock) or flock (poultry) beforehand and each carcass after slaughter.
The new system will also:
- Require all Class A and B plants to develop and maintain comprehensive written food safety procedures for maintaining meat safety, facility hygiene and animal health and welfare.
- Include the development of an audit program of all Class A and B abattoirs.
- Train inspectors to provincial standards, including enhanced knowledge and skills in humane livestock handling and humane slaughter.
- Maintain third party government inspection and the use of a government stamp on inspected products.
- Maintain the graduated enforcement approach to support the integrity of the inspection system.
The new system will be fully implemented by Jan. 1, 2014, and will replace the B.C. government’s arrangement with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to inspect provincially licensed Class A and B abattoirs, which has been in place since 1988. The current service agreement ends Dec. 31, 2013. The CFIA will continue to inspect the 11 federally registered abattoirs in B.C.