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BC Food Processors Association supports provincial licensing and inspection system

Abbotsford, BC, 11 August 2011. "We want to set the record straight and assure British Columbians that their health and safety is of paramount concern in the production of food in BC and that people will not be put at risk," says Nico Human, CEO of the BC Food Processors Association, referring to the story “Ottawa Dumps Meat Inspection on British Columbia,” posted on 10 August 2011 on the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Food Safety First website.

Human leads the BC Food Processors Association (www.bcfpa.ca), a not-for-profit organization that represents food, beverage and nutraceutical processing companies in BC. As he points out, "since 2006, the BCFPA has been involved with provincially licensed slaughter facilities, assisting them towards licensing under the BC Meat Inspection Regulation. We work closely with facility operators, policy makers and regulators. We know that food safety is taken very seriously and practised very professionally by all these parties.

“The BCFPA has been directly involved for the last year in developing options for a new inspection service in BC,” Human continues. “Government agencies, assisted by the BCFPA and facility operators, are working on options for an inspection system that will be a better fit for BC: more efficient, and equally or more effective than the one we have now." Human emphasizes: “In BC we know that ‘one-size-fits-all’ systems don’t work. We support strong food safety standards that will work for all sizes and types of meat processing operations.”

He adds, "I am disturbed by a number of inaccuracies in the PSAC story, including its unfounded allegations about Pitt Meadows Meats. Provincially licensed facilities and associations like ours that welcome them as members make food safety a top priority for all our operations.”

Human closes by noting: “We all play an important role in ensuring our food is safe. The farmer, the processor and the retailer are guided by regulations and best practices, but let's not forget the critical role of the consumer. It's the consumer who, through good hygiene and cooking practices, takes the lead in reducing the risk of food-borne illness.”

For more information, call Adam Ford (604) 504-4409 or Kathleen Gibson (250) 598-4280