By Miranda Burski, Communications Consultant
Drake Meats, a meat wholesaler and processor operating out of Drake, Sask., joined the Ministry of Agriculture’s Domestic Meat Inspection Program in the late 1980s, when the program was contracted to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. While the program itself has changed since that time, including now being contracted to the Saskatchewan Food Centre, Drake Meats’ Kelly Ediger says the benefits that come along with it haven’t.
“It ensures that there’s another set of eyes that are watching my staff and that everything is done properly,” Ediger said. “The other big benefit is that they will determine whether an animal is fit for human consumption or not. I can rest assured that any meat that comes into our facility has been carefully inspected.”
Ediger isn’t the only one who can rest easy from the program’s inspections. He explained that being part of the program assures Drake Meats’ customers, including large retailers, that they’re following proper practices. If Drake Meats weren’t part of the program, Ediger said, those retailers may not be working with them.
He added that the Domestic Meat Inspection Program allows individual consumers to also have confidence in the safety of their food.
“When [they see] an inspection legend on your product in the store, you know that it’s been properly handled,” he said. “There’s less chance of a problem if it’s been inspected all the way through the system.”
Regardless of whether they’re selling to large retailers or directly to consumers, Ediger recommends other processors join the Domestic Meat Inspection Program. Between the assurance he and his staff receive from it and the peace of mind it provides customers, he says, it’s a worthwhile program for everyone involved