October 20, 2018

CFIA Ends Cardinal Meat Specialists E. coli 0157:H7 Investigation

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has ended its investigation into the E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria found in burgers produced at Cardinal Meat Specialists Limited. The burgers were recalled following the discovery. The agency was unable to find a source of the contamination.

Undercooked HamburgerPublic health officials “pursued all avenues of inquiry”, including assessing production, inspection, and testing methods, reviewing plant food safety procedures, and conducting additional testing on burger ingredients. Spices tested negative for the bacteria and were ruled out. In addition, imported ingredients were tested and ruled out. And all available domestic beef ingredient products tested negative for E. coli 0157:H7.

The investigation is now over. The products were associated with a cluster of E. coli 0157:H7 illnesses in Ontario and Alberta. The government will continue to monitor any reported cases of illness. The report ends by reminding consumers it’s critical to cook all ground beef and ground meat products to at least 71 degrees C, or 160 degrees F, to fully destroy E. coli and other pathogenic bacteria. Cross-contamination should also be avoided by ensuring that surfaces and utensils are cleaned thoroughly with soap and water after coming into contact with raw beef and other raw meats.

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