Processing Inspection Rates for Agriculture and Forestry Licensed Meat Facilities

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Agriculture and Forestry: Meat-Processing Inspections

Processing inspection rates for Agriculture and Forestry licensed meat facilities

Year-over-year comparison, April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) conducts up to three unannounced processing inspections in AF- licensed meat facilities each year to help ensure food safety. During processing inspections at these facilities, all aspects related to the food safety systems and the facility are evaluated, providing a comprehensive snapshot of each facility’s processing operations.

Table 1. Processing inspection frequency at AF-licensed meat facilities for the 2017/18 fiscal year.

    Inspection Period
    Facilities Operating
Inspections Conducted
% Facilities Inspected
April – July
August – November
December – March
Processing inspection completion rate for the 2017/18 fiscal year

The year is split into three inspection periods. The above table describes the number of AF-licensed meat facilities operating during a particular inspection period and the number of processing inspections conducted. A total of 209 processing inspections were conducted at 80 AF-licensed meat facilities during the 2017/18 fiscal year. Not all facilities are in operation for the entire year; for the 2017/18 fiscal year, there were 75 facilities in operation during each inspection period.

Processing inspections are unannounced, and AF’s Meat and Dairy Inspection staff make every effort to complete three inspections per year, one in each inspection period. However, in some cases this is not possible because AF-licensed meat facilities conduct processing activities on varying schedules based on their business models. Some businesses operate daily, some only a few processing days per year, some only during specific times of the year (i.e., seasonally), and other businesses begin or cease operations during the course of a year.

The number of facilities receiving processing inspections ranged from 65 to 74 depending on the inspection period (Table 1). There were 75 facilities in operation during each inspection period. Overall, 93% of all possible inspections were completed in 2017/18. The 16/225 inspections not completed were related to the facility not operating when meat and dairy inspection staff arrived to conduct random processing inspections. By comparison, the inspection completion rate was 96% for Fiscal Year 2016/17 and 86% for Fiscal Year 2015/16 (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Processing inspection completion rate at AF-licensed meat facilities, fiscal year comparison.

In addition to processing inspections, AF conducted 6,455 slaughter inspections in the 2017/18 fiscal year. Slaughter inspections are scheduled with an abattoir operator in advance to ensure an AF Meat Inspection Branch inspector is present each time a facility performs slaughter activities, in accordance with regulations.

AF and Alberta Health Services (AHS) Environmental Public Health work together to help ensure safe food for Albertans. AHS Environmental Public Health data is also available online on the AHS website.
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This document is maintained by Amrit Matharu.
This information published to the web on October 20, 2015.
Last Reviewed/Revised on June 19, 2018.