AUG. 26–TORONTO–Angry retailers and consumers demanded answers Tuesday about a mysterious recall of meat from a southern Ontario packing plant, saying the provincial government had not explained what was wrong with the products.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture have told people not to eat meat from Aylmer Meat Packers Inc. The recall was issued early Monday but neither has said what is wrong with the products, if anything.
Meanwhile, inspectors continued to descend upon hundreds of abattoirs, meat packers and butcher shops Tuesday, demanding meat from the plant be taken off the shelves.
“They are killing us in a slow and easy way,” Doug Collette, owner of Collette Meats in St. Thomas, Ont., told Canada.com.
“I don’t know what they are trying to do with Aylmer Meat, charge them or what, but my hands are in the air and I’m totally lost about what we’re supposed to do.”
Collette said he and other retailers have been given conflicting instructions on how to deal with the meat – throw it out or hold on to it until the investigation concludes.
Consumers, too, were unsure about what to do with their meat. Phones at Komoka Foodlands, near London, Ont., rang constantly with customer queries Tuesday, said employee Josh Wilson.
“It is hard for us because we can’t explain for the customers what exactly is going on,” said Wilson.
“It makes it hard for them to believe what we tell them because we have no explanation for what is wrong with the meat.”
Calls have also been flooding in to the Canadian Food Inspection’s Hotline in Guelph, Ont, said spokesman Bruce D’Andrea. He said the agency has received over 200 calls in the last two days.