The head of the federal food inspectors’ union says hiring more staff might have prevented last year’s deadly listeriosis outbreak.

Bob Kingston, president of the agriculture section of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, said inspectors are stretched too thin to do their jobs properly. He appeared yesterday at a parliamentary sub-committee on food safety.

Kingston said inspectors don’t have time to go out onto the floor of meat processing plants to check for organic debris on machinery. He said inspectors should be responsible for no more than two plants that make ready-to-eat meats.

And Kingston says more inspectors in a plant makes workers more conscientious.

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