For release: March 22, 2004
McGuinty Government to DoubleWater
Testing at Ontario Abattoirs
TORONTO - As part of its commitment to protecting the health and safety of Ontarians, the McGuinty government announced today that it will double the frequency of water testing at provincially-licensed abattoirs.
"With spring runoff, it is more important than ever to monitor the safety of the water supply used in the province's abattoirs," Minister of Agriculture and Food Steve Peters said. "That's why I'm instructing staff to double monthly water tests conducted at these plants."
Currently, the province has a scientifically-based water quality and safety program, in which meat inspectors sample water at each plant. As a precautionary measure, staff will now conduct water tests a minimum of four times per month for processing plants using well water, and twice monthly for those using water supplied by municipalities.
Under the Meat Inspection Act (Ontario), all provincially-licensed abattoirs in Ontario must have potable hot and cold running water. Water is used in large quantities in meat and other food processing plants in a variety of ways, including cleaning and as an ingredient in many manufactured products.
"The government will also be looking at the possibility of water
testing across Ontario's food processing sector," Peters said. "This
real, positive change will help ensure our water and meat supplies are
clean and safe."
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