CFIA inspectors begin touring XL Foods beef plant
Published October 9, 2012 | 9:53 am
Edmonton: Federal officials will today conduct a detailed assessment at the Brooks, Alberta plant , XL Foods that is at the heart of a massive tainted beef recall. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency maintained the assessment won’t necessarily green-light the plant to re-open.
Dr. Harpreet Kochhar, the CFIA’s western director, told media persons that it all depends on whether the plant has addressed all issues raised by inspectors since E. coli was detected. The company’s Brooks, Alta., plant, which processes about a third of Canada’s beef, had its licence suspended Sept. 27 in the midst of a massive recall on meat products due to potential E. coli contamination that is now estimated to include between 1,700 and 1,800 items.
The plant has stated in written to the agency that they are ready to re-open.
Meanwhile the public warning issued on October 5, 2012 has been updated to include additional products. Previously identified products included in this recall can be found on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website at www.inspection.gc.ca/recalls.
It may be mentioned, Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety also issued a warning that some raw beef from XL had been brought into the region and a small amount distributed to local shops. It suspended the import of XL products made on or after Aug. 24 and ordered distributors to recall the products.
The U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service nearly tripled its calculation of the amount of potentially contaminated beef imported from XL. The agency now estimates that 1.134 million kilograms of steaks, roasts, ground beef and trim made their way into the United States.
The plant’s license will remain suspended and all products at the plant will remain in CFIA detention during this week’s assessment, the agency added.
Product recalls have expanded since then on a near-daily basis. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) on Monday said it has so far linked a total of 11 cases of O157-related illness to the XL investigation, including seven in Alberta, two in Quebec, one in Newfoundland and Labrador and one in British Columbia.
The CFIA is warning the public, distributors and food service establishments not to consume, sell, or serve the beef products described below because the products may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
The affected products are associated with the same XL Foods manufacturing dates of August 24, 27, 28, 29 and September 5, 2012, as the previously recalled ground beef products. The trace out from XL to secondary and tertiary distributors, manufacturers and retailers could result in a large number of affected products over a wide range of codes and dates.
This recall also includes unlabelled and/or unbranded beef products sold at retail stores not identified in the CFIA’s product list below, which may include small retailers, local meat markets and butcher shops, etc. Therefore, the CFIA is advising consumers who are unsure if they have the affected beef products in their homes to check with the store(s) where the products were purchased or throw them out.