March 23, 2015 - 4:45 PM
KELOWNA - An inspection of Valoroso Foods conducted Friday by the Interior Health Authority did not find any reason to shut the specialty foods store down, despite allegations of product label tampering.
“This past Friday... Interior Health conducted an investigation at Valoroso Foods in Kelowna regarding food safety concerns,” IHA communications officer Patrick Gall said in an emailed statement. “No evidence was found by Interior Health that would result in an imminent health hazard to the public or warrant a closure of the facility."
Valoroso Foods has been accused of altering “best before” dates and other food labels based on an investigation by Global Okanagan. Two former employees allege the practice was widespread and one of them secretly videotaped it being done.
The store remained closed Monday with a sign in the window advising customers it is undergoing inventory.
Company president Joe Valoroso posted an apology to customers on the company website, promising a full inventory would be done and any problems with inventory would be rectified with already installed software. He said the company's retail locations would reopen Tuesday, March 24.
Gall said the Interior Health Authority does not have jurisdiction over the labelling of food products.
"Interior Health’s responsibility is to inspect grocery stores and delis to ensure they meet the requirements of the B.C. Health Act and Food Premises Regulations,” he said in the email.
Gall said the health authority has received four complaints regarding Valoroso Foods since 2011. All four complaints were investigated and concerns regarding labeling and “best before” dates were referred to the CFIA.
Calls to the CFIA regarding the details of the complaints, the investigations and the outcomes were not returned by deadline.
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— This story was updated 2:47 p.m., March 24, 2015 to clarify the CFIA was not involved in the onsite investigation conducted by Interior Health, as was previously indicated by IHA.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015