How safe is our food?

The Globe finds confusion around our food safety system.

Four years after the Conservative government was hit by a deadly outbreak of tainted meat, it has yet to produce a widely accepted assessment of whether Ottawa has enough inspectors to keep Canadian food safe. The need for such an analysis was one of the main recommendations of Sheila Weatherill, who investigated the 2008 listeriosis outbreak that left 23 Canadians dead.

Ms. Weatherill’s independent report to the government concluded she was unable to determine whether Ottawa was spending enough on food inspection because of a lack of information and “differing views.” That confusion continues to this day, as the Conservative government boasts of having hired 170 new meat inspectors since 2006, while the head of the inspectors’ union says he doesn’t know “where the hell they are.”

The CFIA acknowledges that a change is required.