Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Case Of The Missing Inspectors

The other day, I speculated whether the current proposals to hand over food inspection to industry (hereafter known as the "Fox Chicken Inspection Agency")was the end result of earlier moves to change the food inspection system. The union representing food inspectors hints I may be right. From today's Globe and Mail:
Many people working in food inspection have said they are not surprised by the outbreak.

The president of the union representing CFIA inspectors says the agency is so short-staffed that food inspections and follow-up audits simply aren't taking place.

"What is really needed, in my perspective, is a full-blown inquiry on what is happening to the food inspection business in this country," said Michèle Demers, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada.

Ms. Demers said inspectors are warning her that shortcuts cuts are taking place on food safety, but they fear speaking out.

"Inspecting the products before they make it to the stores, before people can actually purchase them, those are the audits that aren't being made, those are the audits that aren't being made because they're too short-staffed," she said.
The next logical questions are, how long has this been going on and who ordered the earlier staffing cutbacks to the agency in the first place?

Update: Kady O'Malley suggests an alternative scenario. She hints that the "proposed" changes (read cuts) have already happened during the course of this year.
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