The double standard on listeria

government not protecting consumersHow serious is the government really about protecting consumers in wake of the listeria outbreak that has been plaguing Canada? Right now, I’m not convinced they really mean it.

They recently announced tough new measures that now require Canadian companies that produce ready to eat meats to disassemble and aggressively clean their meat slicers to check for listeria.

However, it seems that foreign companies that produce deli meats don’t have to worry about that. Canwest News Service is quoting a spokeswoman from the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture who said that the Canadian government hasn’t imposed any stricter regulations on US companies beyond what was already in place before the outbreak happened.

What kind of a double standard is that? Can listeria not also grow inside meat slicers in other countries?

With the amount of foreign food we import in Canada, the same food safety standards should be imposed on all products, not just those made in Canada. After all, Canadians are the ones eating them – and we deserve assurances that all food we eat is safe.

No wonder we consistently face higher costs for products we buy in Canada if our own manufacturers are held to a much higher standard than those whose products we import.


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