Canadian Beef Recall Expanded in U.S.

September 28, 2012 05:29 AM

 A large Canadian beef recall has spread to several hundred U.S. supermarkets. The beef in question originated from Edmonton, Alberta-based XL Foods, one of Canada's largest meat processors, and some of it was sold to U.S. beef processors.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency on Sept. 16 announced a recall, which has been expanded several times to include over 250 products at major grocery chains throughout Canada. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced late Thursday that XL Foods Inc. in Brooks, Alta., won't be able to resume operations until it implements corrective actions required by the agency.

The recall reportedly has been linked to eight cases of E. coli O157:H7 in Alberta, but no deaths have been reported in Canada, and no reports of illness in the United States. USDA estimates that so far, over 800,000 pounds of XL beef products shipped to the United States are linked to the Canadian recall. The USDA on Sept. 20 issued a "public health alert," which has led several U.S. retailers to remove ground beef linked to XL.

Today, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is expanding the Public Health Alert for XL Foods (Canadian Establishment 038) to include all beef and beef products produced on August 24, 27, 28, 29 and September 5, following an expansion of CFIA's recall.

FSIS has reason to believe, based on information provided by the CFIA, that beef from cattle slaughtered during the period associated with the recall was produced under insanitary conditions that resulted in a high event period (a period when the trim from carcasses exhibited an unusually high frequency of positive findings for the possible presence of E. coli O157:H7).  Therefore, all products produced on the affected dates are considered adulterated and must be either destroyed or verified as having received a full lethality treatment. 

CFIA is overseeing the effectiveness of the recall in Canada and FSIS is overseeing the effectiveness in the United States. FSIS continues to verify that all receivers of affected beef from the Canadian-initiated recall have been notified and have removed product from commerce, and will take appropriate action if prohibited activity is found. FSIS will update the retail consignee list as FSIS verifies information received during the recall effectiveness verification process.

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