Food safety – as consumers, we all want to eat healthy and safe foods. But how do we know the many food products we eat are safe?
We are aware of food scares from other countries that send their food products into Canada. But we have our own problems as well.
A few years ago, we experienced the listeriosis contamination at the Maple Leaf food plant in Toronto. Last month, we had the E. coli issue at the XL Foods meat packing plant in Alberta.
Many people ask how this contamination could have happened, especially in Canada, where food safety is a high priority for everyone. Yes, food quality and food safety is of the highest concern for Canadian food companies. Each company has a strict quality assurance program for their food products that are shipped to consumers here in Canada and around the world.
All food and food products produced in Canada are regulated by a number of government agencies, including the Canadian Grain Commission, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Health Canada. Foods produced in Canada for consumption here and abroad are subject to a number of tests to ensure safety and health for consumers and customers. In fact, CanadaÕs food safety regulatory system is one of the most stringent in the world.
The Chatham-Kent Health Unit works with inspection and educational programs at our local restaurants, grocery stores, variety stores, as well as other retail, private, and public institutions.
With these latest food incidents, I know many people were concerned about buying meat, especially beef. It seems when we have food scares, the public starts buying more locally grown product, which is what has happened this past month.
Here in Chatham-Kent, we have a number of local companies who have been providing our community with meat products that are safe, nutritious, delicious, and have year-round availability.
When buying meat (or for that matter any other locally grown food product), you are buying it fresh. It does not travel hundreds or thousands of kilometers to get to your kitchen table. Supporting our local businesses is always a great thing to do.
Here are the companies in alphabetical order, some of which have won provincial, national, and world awards for their meat products. If I am missing one, please let me know and I will add it to the list.
* Buis Beef, Chatham Ð 519-436-0701
* Dresden Meat Packers Ð 519-683-2585
* Faubert Meats, Wheatley Ð 519-825-4212
* Foster Meats, Wallaceburg Ð 519-627-2541
* Gelro Farms, Ridgetown Ð 519-674-5565
* Highgate Tender Meats Ð 519-678-3383
* Kent Lamb, Ridgetown Ð 519-350-4160
* LenoverÕs Quality Meats, Chatham Ð 519-352-6630
* Roesch Meats and More, Kent Bridge Ð 519-351-7711
* Ryckman Farms, Muirkirk (quail) Ð 519-678-3481
* SchinkelÕs Legacy Meats, Chatham Ð 519-351-0818
* Tilbury Abattoir Ð 519-682-3028
* Town and Country Meats, Ridgetown Ð 519-674-3732
* Zion Farms, Wheatley (beef) Ð 519-825-7671
* Zubler Farms, Ridgetown (veal) Ð 519-674-3295
Our Canadian agricultural industry, including the food companies and our many local farm producers and agri-businesses, is dedicated to delivering the highest quality and safest food to you as consumers. I believe they do this better than anyone or anyplace else in the world.
Think about this – you never know when you will be the answer to someone’s prayer.
Just some food for thought.
Remember that here in Chatham-Kent, ‘We Grow for the World.’