June 16, 2024

After E. coli Outbreak, Problems Persist At XL Foods, According to Canadian Health Authorities

After an E. coli outbreak prompted its temporary closure, XL Foods Establishment 38 in Alberta resumed operations last week and was immediately cited with food safety violations by Canadian health authorities.

E. coliInspectors from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) monitored plant operations, including the unloading  of animals, animal screening, pre-operation inspections, slaughter, and the cutting and processing of carcasses. “Overall food safety controls were being effectively managed,” inspectors said. But they issued several Corrective Action Requests (CARs) after making the following observations: There was condensation on pipes in the tripe room; water in a sanitizer was not maintained at a high temperature; meat cutting areas were not adequately cleaned; and there was no sanitizing chemical solution in the mats used for cleaning employees’ boots.

Plant management took the following actions to address these concerns: sent potentially contaminated product to rendering, brought sanitizers into compliance immediately, cleaned and sanitized the meat cutting area and added sanitizer to the boot mats. The CFIA has also requested that the company submit corrective action plans that show  how these issues will be addressed over the longer term.

The U.S. Depeartment of Agriculture’s (USDA’S) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) visited the plant on November 2, 2012 and will publicly release its audit findings. Beef produced at the plant has been linked to an ongoing E.coli outbreak that has, so far, sickened 17 Canadians.

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