The United State Department of Agriculture could ban Canadian meat plants from exporting their products to the U.S. if safety requirements aren’t met after recent audits. The United States rejected 1.7 million pounds of Canadian meat and poultry after 130,000 pounds of meat were found to be contaminated.
The United States conducted these audits in September of 2016. They took place in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Canadian Food Inspection was informed of the findings. Canada, like the U.S., has rules about producing meat that is contaminated; however, they have different approaches to handling the meat pre and post-harvest.
The countries are looking to find a mutual understanding to prevent further problems in the future.
The United States currently requires all carcasses to be inspected by a government inspector to guarantee they are not contaminated in any way. This process is mandatory for both meat being exported out of the U.S. and meat being imported to the U.S.
These problems also offer concern to the egg industry relations between Canada and the United States.
U.S. Audit Raised Significant Questions About Canadian Meat Inspections
The most “significant” concern, U.S. auditors said, was that Canadian government plant inspectors were not checking for residual feces and digestive waste materials on each carcass in slaughterhouses prior to export. “Auditors noted that government inspectors appear to not be conducting carcass-by-carcass post-mortem inspection to ensure freedom from contamination,” noted the audit.