Beyond Organics has been closed for renovations. Health authorities found a dog carcass in the freezer during inspections in May and June. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Beyond Organics has been closed for renovations. Health authorities found a dog carcass in the freezer during inspections in May and June. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Organic food business stored dead dog, 25 pounds of ‘pot’ in freezer

Maple Ridge business owner says freezer was for pet food only.

With the carcass of a dead dog and 25 pounds of marijuana in a freezer at Beyond Organics, inspectors from Fraser Health gave the Maple Ridge business a “high” hazard rating.

There were other violations from the May 29 inspection, as well, such the conversion of a backroom office into a bedroom, because food premises must be separate from living quarters, with no direct access.

There was a heavy fly infestation inside the premises on Dewdney Trunk Road, according to Fraser Health, and foods obtained from unapproved sources. The latter violation arose because labels were missing on many meat products in both the deli cooler and freezer display.

In the comments section of the Fraser Health inspection report, it was noted pets were not allowed inside the building in downtown Maple Ridge.

Fraser Health also received a complaint that dogs were staying in the living quarters, adjacent to the main food processing area.

Health inspectors also had RCMP attend, because of the large quantity of marijuana found.

There were two follow-up inspections, on June 6 and June 15.

On June 6, according to Fraser Health, the dead dog was still in the freezer, the back room was still a bedroom, and labels were missing on meat products.

Another hazard was recorded – proprietor Denis Prasad was spraying “Raid” aerosol in the food processing area, in an attempt to beat back the “heavy fly infestation.”

It was noted that the premises was not open to the public.

On June 15, the inspection found the hazard rating low, dropping to a score of three, from a high of 68 on the previous one.

Anything over 30 is considered a high hazard rating.

A note on the Fraser Health report said Prasad should contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency regarding labelling requirements for proper or accurate labelling.

The majority of food products were purchased from approved manufacturers and processors, according to Fraser Health, and repackaged at Beyond Organics for sale.

The processor named in the report was Arctic Meats. A representative from that Port Coquitlam-based business said it does not produce organic products.

Beyond Organics has a sign on its front door that it is closed for renovations. The storefront is missing a window, which has been covered by plywood, and has broken glass on the door.

Prasad said the last inspections by Fraser Health ruined his organics business.

The dead dog was stored with dog food only.

He had a pet food business for 15 years, which was separate from his organics business, and all the meat in that freezer was not intended for human consumption.

He said it was a customer’s pet, stored as a favour.

“Until he decided whether to cremate it, bury it … whatever. Sometimes when you have a pet, it’s hard to decide. You just can’t throw it out,” said Prasad. “It’s just like human being dying, you don’t leave it there in a chair, you’re going to take him to a morgue, to a freezer.”

Prasad told the Fraser Health inspectors the freezer food was not for human consumption.

“It has zero human food.”

He said the marijuana on site was “leaves and branches,” given to him by another business that wanted him to create “medicinal pet food.”

“I threw it in the freezer and I forgot about it,” he said. “So it was all liquid slush.”

He said the Fraser Health inspector identified the weed from the smell.

“I said it’s not pot, pot is the … bud,” said Prasad. “He calls 9-1-1, police, and we’ve got six cop cars here.

“To this day, they haven’t charged me for nothing.”

Ridge Meadows RCMP confirmed they attended Beyond Organics on May 29, and no charges are stemming.

Prasad said he is now out of business and blamed health inspectors, adding he is considering a lawsuit.

“I’m building a case on them,” he said. “I’m not finished with them yet.”

Meanwhile, a noxious smell is coming from the building and the city has received complaints.

“The city has received complaints about the property and the bylaws department has made contact with the property owner,” said Robin MacNair, city bylaws manager. “We understand that the property owner is moving quickly to resolve the issue.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rose Sawka, a 91-year old Acropolis Manor resident received her COVID-19 vaccination on Jan. 20, one day after an outbreak was declared at the long-term care facility. Her son Terry Sawka visited with her through the window, like she is seen in an Oct. 2020 photo. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Acropolis Manor COVID-19 cases jump to 20 confirmed

Prince Rupert long term care facility received vaccinations

Illicit drug use has spread in the Northern Health region and overdose emergency calls increased in Prince Rupert by 29.5 per cent from 2019 to 2020. (Photo:THE NEWS/files)
Overdose emergency calls in Prince Rupert spikes by 43.6 % in five years

Northern Health issues illicit drug use warnings

Glenn Hall, resident at Yellowhead Pioneer Residence Assisted Living in Barrierem B.C. received their first COVID-19 vaccinations on Jan. 19. (Pam Simpson photo)
Acropolis residents and staff to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Prince Rupert long term care residents will receive the vaccine on Jan. 20

An outbreak of COVID-19 was declared on Jan. 19 at Acropolis Manor. The long-term care home also had an influenza outbreak nearly two years ago.
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Acropolis Manor

Prince Rupert long-term care home has four resident, three staff cases

Lax Kxeen Elementary School has two different active notices for potential COVID-19 exposure after three adult lab-confirmed cases of the virus were identified in Prince Rupert schools, School District 52 released in a statement on Jan. 18. (Photo K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Three adult COVID-19 cases result in four potential exposures in city schools

Prince Rupert School District 52 calls special open meeting

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

Most Read