Bad meat

Andre Picard sees breakdowns of communication and leadership around the XL Foods recall.

Mr. Ritz was minister during the listeria crisis. His government commissioned a report from Sheila Weatherill, which cost taxpayers $5.3-million. Obviously, he has not read or understood that report, which, in addition to its technical recommendations for improving food safety, had two overriding messages: 1) That communication by the CFIA and the government more generally were appallingly bad and 2) there was a “void in leadership” that contributed to the deaths.

Today, as the E. coli tainted meat outbreak demonstrates, communication is as bad, if not worse, and the void in leadership is even more gaping. That void is a greater threat to the health of Canadians than any bacterium.

An 11th case of E.coli poisoning has been confirmed. The recall in the United States now includes approximately 2.5 million pounds of meat and Hong Kong is now conducting its own recall. XL Foods would like to reopen its plant in Brooks, Alberta. The CFIA will conduct a detailed assessment of the plant on Tuesday.

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