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Weatherill Report Expected to Improve Food Safety

24 July 2009
Manitoba Pork Council


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CANADA - A food safety expert with the University of Manitoba is confident recommendations contained in a just released report on a 2008 listeriosis outbreak can serve to improve food safety in Canada if they're acted on by government, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The Sheila Weatherill report on a 2008 listeriosis outbreak that killed 22 Canadians, released earlier this week, contains 57 recommendations for improving food safety in Canada.

Dr. Rick Holley, a food safety and food microbiology professor with the University of Manitoba, says this is a very detailed report that, if listened to by government, will make progress in our battle to address issues associated with food borne illness.

Dr. Rick Holley-University of Manitoba

I'm pleased in the sense that it addresses issues that go beyond the specific symptomatic concerns associated with the listeriosis outbreak and that it goes to issues that impact on the level of food safety in Canada using listeriosis as an example and it can have some impact if government wants it to.

Unfortunately it will have to spend further money in order for that to happen.

Government therefore has to make decisions as to which of the many places it has that it needs to invest money in.

I trust that they will view this issue of food safety and consumer confidence in the food industry and in the inspection regulatory activity of the Public Health Agency, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada as being a high priority needing attention.

We should have in this country the right to consume food that's known to be safe.


Dr. Holley suggests government needs to invest in improvements in food borne illness surveillance and in laboratory capacity to ensure timely identification of pulses in frequency in food borne illness so we can respond quickly to an event in its early stages.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

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