Timeline of Events: CFIA Investigation into Capital Packers Inc. (Listeria monocytogenes)
Following additional testing and a thorough food safety investigation, the CFIA lifts the suspension on Capital Packers Inc.'s licence to operate and allows the company to resume production under ongoing and intensified CFIA inspection.
On November 28, a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) laboratory confirmed negative results for Listeria monocytogenes from three additional product samples produced at Capital Packers Inc. Additional CFIA testing continues.
On November 27, a CFIA laboratory confirmed negative results for Listeria monocytogenes from five product samples produced at Capital Packers Inc. Additional CFIA testing is underway.
All products at the establishment remain under CFIA detention and control while the food safety investigation continues.
The CFIA Office of Food Safety and Recall notified the Public Health Agency of Canada of the situation and briefed them on the status related to Capital Packers recall and food safety investigation.
As of this date, there have been no reported illnesses associated with consumption of products from Capital Packers Inc.
The CFIA continues to check the effectiveness of the recall at the retail and institutional level.
In addition, the CFIA continues its food safety investigation at Capital Packers Inc. to determine the cause of the positive listeria sample, as well as confirm that no other products were affected.
The CFIA holds a technical briefing, attended by the Public Health Agency of Canada, and issues a statement regarding the license suspension for Capital Packers Inc.
The CFIA's top priority is consumer safety so this facility's operating license will not be returned until the CFIA is completely satisfied that this plant can produce safe food.
A food safety inspection team went on-site to conduct a thorough review ofrecords and establishment conditions.
The inspector completed the verification relating to CAR-2012-231-08 (recall procedures). The inspector concluded that the operator had failed to implement corrective action to address this CAR.
The establishment's license was suspended effective immediately pursuant to s. 29.2(1) of the Meat Inspection Regulations for violations as follows:
- failure to comply with the requirements of the Meat Inspection Act, the Meat Inspection Regulations, the Food Safety Enhancement Program Manual and the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures;
- the belief that public health would be endangered or the edibility of meat products would be affected if the establishment was allowed to continue operating; and
- the HACCP plans or the prerequisite plans no longer complied with the requirements specific in the Food Safety Enhanced Program Manual.
The suspension notice was delivered at 4:30 p.m. Immediately following the suspension, inspection staff placed all product, labels and packaging material bearing themeat inspection legend under official CFIA control to prevent further distribution.
The CFIA issued a news release informing the public regarding the license suspension for Capital Packers Inc.
As a precaution, Capital Packers Inc. initiated a voluntary recall for two brands of sausage products produced on production line #1 on November 7. These products were distributed nationally.To this point, no product had tested positive for Listeria monocytongenes.
The CFIA Office of Food Safety and Recall issued a corresponding health hazard alert to notify consumers.
The CFIA Office of Food Safety and Recall also initiated a food safety investigation to assess whether any other products distributed in the marketplace may have been contaminated and if so, to identify the possible source of contamination at the facility.
During an on-site inspection, the inspector discovered that product from production line #1, produced on November 7,was not under the control of the company and may have been distributed. The establishment was not able to supply production records for that day to trace out product for further testing.
Since the operator was unable to provide the requested records, the CFIA immediately initiated a food safety investigation.
In the evening, the operator provided the inspector with records for production and distribution of two products produced on production line #1.The inspector also began a follow-up inspection to CAR-2012-231-08 relating to recall procedures. This follow-up inspection was part of the inspector's routineduties.It is normal procedure that once CFIA has been notified by a plant that a Corrective Action Plan is completed, the inspector goes back after a period of time to verify that the action has been effectively implemented.
Capital Packers Inc. advised CFIA that the product produced on November 7 from production line #1 had not been distributed and was under the control of the company in the establishment.
The plant was notified by the private accredited laboratory at 9:00 a.m. of a positive result for Listeria monocytongenes relating to the November 7 sample.
Capital Packers Inc. notified the CFIA at 9:12 a.m. that a food contact surface monitoring sample from production line #1 came back positive for Listeria monocytongenes
Pursuant to the Listeria Policy, CFIA issued a CAR for unsatisfactory environmental sampling of RTE food contact surfaces. The company is required to provide a Corrective Action Plan by November 29, 2012.
A sample was taken by Capital Packers Inc. as part of the plant's Listeria monocytongenes testing protocol. The sample was taken from an employee's sleeve working on production line #1. The sample was received by an accredited private laboratory in Calgary.
Once a sample is received in the laboratory, it can take up to 11 days to confirm a positive result. Steps include growth of bacteria and isolation of specific types of bacteria (up to five days), and confirmation of results (up to six days).
The CFIA requires that the company take corrective action right away if deficiencies noted in a CAR pose an immediate food safety risk. Otherwise, companies are provided in a reasonable period of time to correct deficiencies. Capital Packers Inc. was required to implement its Corrective Action Plan relating to recall procedures by October 29, 2012.
Once corrective actions have been taken by a company, it is routine procedure for CFIA to verify the effective implementation of a Corrective Action Plan within a few weeks of this due date.
The CFIA received and accepted the Corrective Action Plan relating to deficiencies in Capital Packers Inc. recall procedures.
The inspector identified that Capital Packers Inc. did not have appropriate trace out protocols for recall activities.The inspector issued a Corrective Action Request (CAR-2012-231-08) relating to deficiencies in the plant's recall procedures
There are additional CARs pertaining to operations at Capital Packers Inc. These CARs are not related to the suspension of the operating license.
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