October 26, 2016

Class Action Settlement Against XL Foods

A $4,000,000 class action settlement has been reached against XL foods in Alberta, Canada. A huge beef recall and E. coli O157:H7 outbreak four years ago sickened at least 18 people in Canada. The settlement is available for anyone sickened or who suffered an economic loss in the United States or Canada. The class action lawsuit was filed in 2013. A review found that the 2012 outbreak was caused by a lax approach to food safety. That review also found that XL Foods was not prepared to handle a large recall. About a million pounds of beef was recalled in the United States in 2012, which included about 1,800 different types of beef products. About 1.5 million pounds of XL Foods beef was recalled in Canada. After an import ban, XL Foods was cleared to ship beef to the United States again … [Read more...]

Review of XL Foods Beef Recall and Outbreak Finds Problems

The review of the XL Foods Inc. beef recall and E. coli O157:H7 outbreak last year in Canada found that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) had a "relaxed attitude" toward safety standards and XL Foods did not act quickly enough to fix the problem. That outbreak, which occurred September and October 2012, sickened 18 people. The report lists similarities with the 2008 Listeria outbreak, which killed at least 20 people. Panel members met with beef producers and processors, health authorities and academics, the retail industry, and union representatives for XL Foods and the CFIA. Inadequate responses played the most critical part in the huge recall and outbreak. More than 1,800 products were removed from the market in Canada and in the United States. The Panel said, "we found a … [Read more...]

After E. coli Outbreak, Canada Ramps Up Food Safety

Last fall in Canada,  the XL Foods E. coli outbreak sickened 18 people and triggered the largest meat recall in Canadian history.  Now, Canada is ramping up it food safety efforts through its Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan. The goal of the plan is to strengthen food safety rules, create a  more effective inspection system, provide more information to consumers and develop regulation that will enact the Safe Food for Canadians Act, passed in November 2012. As part of the plan, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is strengthening some of its beef safety rules and has created new requirements to control E. coli in federally-registered beef plants including required labeling of all mechanically tenderized beef cuts by July 2, 2013. Health Canada will then propose broader … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

JBS Acquires XL Foods Canadian Operations

JBS USA will enter the Canadian beef market with its purchase of the Canadian operations of XL Foods. The deal is set to be finalized January 14, 2013 when JBS Food Canada will assume ownership of the XL Lakeside beef processing plant in Brooks, Alberta, Canada. Processing 4,000 head of cattle each day, the Brooks plant is one of Canada's largest beef processing facilities and one of southern Alberta’s largest employers. JBS has managed the plant since it resumed operations following a temporary suspension prompted by a beef recall and related E.coli outbreak. Under the terms of the agreement, JBS will also acquire XL’s beef packing plant in Calgary, Alta.; a feedlot in Brooks, Alta., and  farmland adjacent to the feedlot. JBS will not assume any of XL’s debt or liabilities. “This … [Read more...]

After E. coli Recall, Outbreak XL Foods Cleared To Ship To US

The United States Department of Agricluture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) has cleared XL Foods Inc., Establishment 38, of Canada to resume exports to the US effective Friday, December 7, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). An E. coli outbreak  linked to a beef recall by XL Foods sickened  16 people in four Canadian provinces.  The recall, which began September 4 with raw beef trimmings from the plant in Alberta, expanded almost 20 times, eventually growing to include an estimated 2.5 million pounds of beef in the U.S. and an untold number of kilos in Canada. The CFIA drew fire from Canadian media and workers at the plant on its handling of the recall,  prompting the agency's president, George DaPont, to draft an open letter in an attempt to set … [Read more...]

Food & Water Watch Asks Ag Secretary to Examine Canadian Import Equivalency

Food and Water Watch has written a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, asking him to look into the status of the equivalency determination with Canada regarding importation of beef products. The organization is also concerned with the privatized inspection system in some of Canada's beef slaughter facilities that has "apparently received no formal recognition by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)." The recent huge recall for E. coli 0157:H7 of millions of pounds of beef products manufactured at XL Foods has prompted this letter. FSIS actually alerted Canadian food safety authorities about the contamination at the Sweetgrass, Montana FSIS border inspection station. The USDA never issued a recall in this situation but instead chose to issue a "Public Health … [Read more...]

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. Inspectors 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 … [Read more...]

Cattlemen Want Antitrust Investigation Of JBS Purchase Of XL Foods

The Ranchers and Cattleman's Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to initiate an antitrust investigation and issue an enforcement action to block JBS USA from buying properties from XL Foods, the Canadian company linked to a massive beef recall and E. coli outbreak. On October 17, JBS USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Brazil-based JBS S.A., announced an agreement with XL Foods to manage one of the company's Canadian operations. The agreement also provided JBS USA with an exclusive option to purchase Canadian and U.S. operations of XL Foods including: the Lakeside beef packing plant; a beef packing plant in Calgary, Alberta; a feedlot in Brooks, Alberta, and the adjacent farmland acreage; a beef packing plant in Omaha, Neb.; and a beef packing plant in … [Read more...]

CFIA Releases Letter From Embattled XL Foods in Canada

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has released a letter made public yesterday that was sent to them by XL's co-CEOs Brian and Lee Nilsson. The letter states that there will be "top down [changes] throughout the organization." The official CFIA Inspection Report describes the inspection of the facility and problems found during the inspection. And the CFIA sent a list of Corrective Action Requests to the company based on that inspection. XL Foods' beef was recalled in a massive undertaking last month because it was potentially contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7. There is an outbreak of foodborne illness linked to XL Foods beef in Canada. Promised changes include re-validation and increased computer monitoring of the hot water wash intervention and a modified pre-evisceration carcass … [Read more...]

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