November 1, 2014

Canada Suspends XL Foods License to Operate After E. coli Beef Recalls

Ground Beef TrayThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has suspended XL Foods Inc. license to operate after the company did not adequately implement corrective actions after inspection. The facility’s ground beef and beef trim was recalled after it was found to be contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7. The recall has been expanded seven times and spread into the United States.

The recall began September 17, 2012. On September 4, 2012, the USDA notified the CFIA of a positive E. coli 0157:H7 sample in beef trimmings from XL Foods. The CFIA found the deadly bacteria in products made in XL Foods Alberta facility that same day. So the Canadian government conducted enhanced inspections at that plant. On September 26, 2012, the CFIA determined that the deficiencies found in the inspection had not bee completely corrected and the company did not present acceptable plant to correct issues.

All products currently at the plant are under CFIA detention and control. The products will only be released after being tested for E. coli 0157:H7. The recall has also been expanded, and most likely will be expanded again over the next few days as more products are identified and traced. You can see all of the recalled products at the CFIA site.

There has been an outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 in four patients in Alberta that are linked to mechanically tenderized beef. Kirkland Strip Loin Grilling Steak prepared and sold at Costco in Alberta and produced by XL Foods has been recalled in connection with this outbreak.

In the United States, the USDA’s FSIS issued a public health alert for beef trim imported into the U.S., but no recall has been issued. Several stores in the U.S., including Safeway, Albertsons, Costco, Kroger, and Fred Meyer, have issued recalls. Packers and processors in the U.S. that have received the product include Morasch Meats, Wolverine Packing, and Interstate Meat Distributors.

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