Ontario police began an investigation to investigate the conduct of a slaughterhouse located in Aylmer, Ont.
INDEPTH: Meat Safety
Aylmer Meat Packers was closed last week amid allegations that meat from the uninspected stalls made their way into several butcher shops throughout the province.
On Sunday on Sunday, The Canadian Food Inspection Agency began announcing recalls on the entire range of beef products manufactured by the company.
This week, Ontario public safety commissioner Dr. James Young told consumers not to consume any meat or other products that come from Aylmer slaughterhouse.
“While it is not clear to suggest that the severity of the issue was not limited to beef, the facility also slaughters veal, lamb as well as pork.” Young said. Young.
The recall as well as news of the launch of an inquiry has resulted in many questions and not enough answers.
Toronto butcher Peter Christapoulos says CFIA inspectors arrived on Tuesday but would not say why the meat heart purchased through Aylmer Meat Packers. “They did not provide me with any information,” he said.
An indication of what the investigators could be looking for was revealed in an email sent out last this week to the Ontario public health officials, which stated that the company was under investigation for “possible crimes involving unlawful processing and disposal Deadstock.”
Deadstock is a term used to describe animals that died prior to slaughter, often due to illnesses. It is not legal to market or process the carcasses of dead animals for human consumption.
Young will lead an investigation into claims of Aylmer Meat Packers was slaughtering meat with no provincial inspector on hand.
The investigation raises questions about the efficiency of Ontario’s meat inspection process is working.
Around 150 meat inspectors on contract are distributed throughout the province. At minimum three province departments are accountable for ensuring food safety.
Around 150 inspectors of meat have been dismissed throughout the province in the early 1990s.
Some critics are drawing parallels between the beef scare and the water tainted incident at Walkerton, Ont., in May 2000.
An inquiry into the public’s perception blamed the issue partly on cuts by the government for the Ministry of the Environment.