The union representing the workers at the XL Foods plant in Brooks says there are serious problems inside the facility that need to be addressed.
Doug O’Halloran, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401, said in a news release Tuesday that the union has been raising concerns “for years” about operations at XL Foods’ Brooks, Alta. plant.
“Cleanliness and safety need to be the priorities when it comes to the food that is being put on Canadian tables,” he said. “We’ve dealt with other CEOs in the meatpacking industry, but we’ve never come across anyone who wouldn’t at least meet with us to talk about food safety.”
Federal food safety inspectors were inside the slaughterhouse on Tuesday to try and determine if it’s safe for the plant to reopen and resume production of beef.
The owners of the XL plant insist they’ve fixed all the problems that led the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to shut it down almost two weeks ago at the height of the E. coli scare.
11 people in Alberta have become sick after eating recalled XL beef products.
XL CEO Brian Nilsson says they’ve completed all the changes the CFIA ordered and they are ready to reopen.
But, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says that the inspections are just the first step in a long process the company will be facing.
Bob Jackson, a former CFIA inspector says that beef will eventually be moving through the plant. “There is going to be beef moving through that plant again. Whether it’s today, tomorrow, or whenever that date is, but I think it’s the system. The system hasn’t changed; the compliance verification system is still going to be there.”
The mayor of Brooks says the plant will eventually have to reopen.
With files from CTVNews.ca
article, plus video report
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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