Thursday, October 31, 2019

MPI fails again

Yesterday a dairy company was fined $483,000 for repeatedly failing to report listeria in its facility. Its a serious fine for a serious crime: listeria is a serious disease, and they were effectively trying to kill people with it. But there's another story hidden in there, and its not a good one:

MPI's Director of Compliance Gary Orr said that from 2012 to 2016, the company deliberately and repeatedly failed to report positive listeria results that were taken from a floor at the company's factory in Avondale. During this period, the company also falsified official related records.

Orr said a total of 190 positive listeria results went unreported during this time.

"This was serious, systematic and sustained deception – there's no other way to describe it," he said.

"The company was regularly audited to ensure its manufacturing environment was in accordance with regulatory requirements but it lied about what the true situation was.

[Emphasis added]

So what were those "audits" doing again? Because clearly, it wasn't any sort of actual checks; MPI only found out about this from a whistleblower.

If a company can be "audited" for food quality for five years and this sort of thing not be noticed, then our "audit" system is broken, and does nothing at all to keep the public safe. Instead, all it does is deceive us. We need real audits, real safety checks, so we can be confident our food is safe. unfortunately, given its demonstrated incompetence and captive internal culture, I doubt we'll be able to get them from MPI.