2012-11-23 – Statement on Establishment 231, Capital Packers Inc.
On November 22, 2012, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a Health Hazard Alert that certain Capital brand and Compliments brand ham sausgaes may contain Listeria monocytogenes.
The CFIA also announced that effective November 22, 2012, the Agency has suspended the operations at the producing company, Establishment 231, Capital Packers Inc. in Edmonton, Alberta.
This establishment produces both ready-to-eat and non-ready-to-eat meats. There are two CFIA inspectors that oversee operations at the establishment.
The CFIA has determined that adequate controls for food safety are not being fully implemented in the facility and that the company has failed to consistently meet federal food safety standards. As a result, the CFIA has taken precautionary measures to suspend the company’s operating license.
When problems are found, companies are given deadlines, based on the severity of the problem, to implement corrective actions. In this case, the CFIA has issued a number of corrective action requests based on our regular inspection activities and has determined that the company has been unable to effectively demonstrate that it has the acceptable plans in place that address corrective action requests and respond to these issues over the longer-term. In particular, the company is unable to demonstrate that it has effective processes in place to keep track of its production.
This was observed recently during the CFIA’s examination of documentation related to a positive listeria finding in the plant. This finding was not a food product, but what we refer to as an environmental finding. Such detections are routine; however, the company was unable to accurately determine if potentially affected product was under its control.
Initially, the company advised the CFIA that the products produced on the day of the positive finding were under the company’s control. However, validation activities conducted by the CFIA determined that product produced on the affected line may have been distributed to several provinces.
This is why, on November 22, 2012, within a few hours of determining that the operator had failed to take measures to correct deficiencies with their recall program, the CFIA delivered a notice of suspension to the operator.
Also, as an additional precautionary measure, the company is voluntarily recalling all the products produced on the specific line associated with the Listeria monocytogenes detection. The following products are being recalled:
- Capital brand 300 gram ham sausages
- Compliments brand 375 gram ham sausages.
This company also has six additional lines that may be implicated. As a further precaution the CFIA and the company are doing additional sampling on these lines.
To be clear, there have been no positive samples found in food products. At this time, the CFIA is taking precautionary action based on the finding of a positive sample from the sleeve of a uniform.
Recalled product information is available on the CFIA website and also on the HealthyCanadians.gc.ca web site. That information will continue to be updated as necessary.
The CFIA is working with Capital Packers Inc. to identify where the product was distributed by tracing the product through the supply chain from production, to manufacturer and on to retail. As the CFIA's food safety investigation progresses, additional products may be identified and it is possible that this recall could be expanded.
All products currently at this plant are under CFIA detention and control. In addition, the CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation and is working with Health Canada to determine if products shipped from the plant pose potential risks to consumers, particularly related to Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The CFIA will immediately alert the public if unsafe food could be in the marketplace.
Licence suspensions have a major impact on business operations, but food safety cannot and will not be compromised. The CFIA has observed and overseen corrective actions for several issues at this plant in the past. Since April 1, 2012, the CFIA issued 11 corrective action requests, to Capital Packers. Five of those corrective action requests are still open. The company also had its licence temporarily suspended in September 2011 for issues related to ventilation and condensation. The suspension began September 13, 2011 and lasted about a week, with reinstatement on September 20.
Capital Packers Inc. will not be able to resume operations until they have fully implemented the necessary corrective actions and the CFIA is fully confident in the plant's capacity to effectively manage food safety risks.
The safety of consumers is the CFIA's top priority and the Agency will work diligently to ensure there is no potential risk to consumers.
Additional information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.
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