June 19, 2018

Canadian Advisory Panel To Study XL Foods E. coli Outbreak

The Canadian government has appointed an independent review panel to investigate the XL Foods E. coli outbreak that sickened 18 people in the fall of 2012 and spawned the largest meat recall in Canadian history. The panel will look at what caused the outbreak and how well the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) performed its duties.

Members of the panel include Dr. Ronald Lewis (Chair), Dr. Ronald Usborne, and Dr. André Corriveau. They will look at the factors and condition inside the XL Foods plant in Alberta that may have contributed to the outbreak such as the company’s food safety preventative control programs and inspection policies.

They will explore the question of whether or not it was reasonably possible for the CFIA or XL Foods to have discovered E.coli contamination in the beef prior to its distribution and the efficacy of the CFIA’s response. The panel will make recommendations based on its findings and compile a final report. Both of which will be made public when complete.

“We take the safety of Canada’s food supply very seriously, and we remain committed to the continuous improvement of Canada’s strong food safety systems that allow Canadian consumers to shop with confidence,”  Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, said in a response to the panel’s creation. “As our government committed, there will be an independent review that will be made public. We look forward to receiving the Panel’s report so that we may review its recommendations.”

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