CFIA: meat plants to take apart slicers

11-09-2008 | |

The CFIA has told all meat processors to take apart and clean their meat slicers.

According to Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the requested actions are directly a result of investigations at Maple Leaf Foods that concluded the likely source of the deadly listeriosis outbreak.
The outbreak lead to a massive deli meat recall and has killed 14 people. This was due to bacterial build-up deep inside the mechanical components of two of its slicers.
“The investigation has highlighted that organic material may become retained within the inner workings of slicing equipment even after routine sanitation has been performed and cleaning conducted in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications,” said the CFIA.
Due to this, the agency is advising operators do the following immediately:
  • At the next scheduled line sanitation, take apart and perform a systematic, thorough and aggressive cleaning and sanitation procedure on meat slicing equipment, including all internal non-electronic parts and inform the CFIA inspector of all details of this exercise 
  • Perform listeria environmental sampling of contact surfaces; re-sanitise the equipment prior to reuse; and inform the CFIA inspector of the results of this exercise
  • If warranted, and in consultation with the CFIA inspector, review the standard cleaning and sanitation procedures for such equipment to ensure that internal working parts are being suitably cleaned and disinfected on an ongoing basis; This includes introducing routine listeria environmental sampling on contact surfaces of the equipment if such testing is not already being done.