Canada temporarily shuts plant linked to tainted beef

Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:01am EDT
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(Reuters) - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has temporarily shut a meatpacking plant linked to contaminated beef products that have sickened several people and been distributed across Canada and the United States.

The operators of privately held XL Foods' plant in Brooks, Alberta have not done enough to prevent contamination by E. coli bacteria, the CFIA said on Friday.

"All products currently at this plant are under CFIA detention and control," the agency said in a statement. "XL Foods Inc will not resume operations until they have demonstrated that they have fully implemented CFIA's required corrective actions."

Several people have been sickened after eating steaks believed to have been contaminated with E. coli, which were bought at a Costco Wholesale Corp store in Edmonton, Alberta. The supplier of the tainted meat has not been identified.

XL Foods said on Wednesday there was no definitive link between its products and the cases of illness. The company's officials could not be immediately reached for comment Friday.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service expanded a public health alert about potentially tainted beef from the plant, that may have made its way to U.S. grocery stores in more than 30 states, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Safeway. XL Foods is recalling the products, which include steaks, roasts and ground beef.

The United States halted imports of beef products from the XL Foods plant on September 13.


Beginning early in September, XL Foods had voluntarily recalled more than 250 beef products made at the plant after positive findings of E. coli. CFIA said it would recall more products over the next few days as it traces their movement.   Continued...