Manitoba’s food safety regulations are sufficient for allowing small-scale food processors to produce food fit for consumers, says a Manitoba Agriculture food safety manager.
Processors are free to use whatever methods fit their operation, so long as they guarantee food safety.
“It doesn’t really matter whether you’re a small-scale producer, a local food producer or you’re a larger scale producer,” said Dr. Glen Duizer, Manitoba’s acting chief veterinary officer at the time that meat products were seized from a Pilot Mound farm.
“The standards are the same and that’s what the regulations speak to.”
Duizer said the specific methods of safely producing food are not de-fined in regulations because there are many ways to achieve the same result.
However, the food at the end of the process must be reasonably certain to be safe.
“It’s all about the basics of food safety,” said Duizer.
“People can be innovative and can come up with an innovative way to meet the standard … but they’ve got to be willing to do that. They have to be willing to put in these types of management practices to make sure that what they produce is safe food fit for human consumption.”
Duizer would not directly discuss the Cavers farm situation, citing privacy rules, but said the public should realize that inspectors are not generally sent in to seize food products for no reason.
“If we have evidence or we lose the confidence that a processor, regardless of size, is producing a product for human consumption that is no longer safe, then we have to act right away and act quickly,” said Duizer.