Ontario growers don’t think size matters for food safety - The Packer

Ontario growers don’t think size matters for food safety

02/07/2013 12:43:00 PM
Coral Beach

“It’s about who you are,” Mastronardi said. “Nothing will change just because you have a certificate hanging on the wall. If you are not committed to food safety and running a clean operation, you won’t.”

DiMennaJim DiMenna, founder of JemD farms and outgoing chairman of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, said no one should be exempt from food safety rules.

He suggested that smaller growers and shippers could form cooperative arrangements, similar to the Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Growers Association, to implement safe operations if the cost is too big for individuals to bear alone.

“That could even help them in the long run because of the demand for locally-grown produce,” DiMenna said. “It’s unfair for retailers to feel they have to buy from small growers to meet the demand for ‘local’ products when they know the smaller operations are exempt from government regulations.”

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Bill Riedel    
Ottawa  |  February, 11, 2013 at 06:59 PM

Re: "pathogens don’t discriminate based on size"- but risk visibility is size related. If I market product that has a risk of 1 per million consumers and I supply 1 million consumers my product would rarely be recalled; however, if I supplied 30 million consumers there would be 30 cases and back in the 1970's it became clear to some of us that the care that larger companies must take is directly proportional to size. It is my opinion that risk visibility is the reason for many of the recent outbreaks. If you look at the history of consumer product recalls between Canada and US you can see a pattern where US recognized a risk first when 20 to 30 cases occurred - devide that by 10 and it gets lost in the snow!

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