Cargill feels impact of Canadian beef recall

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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MINNETONKA, Minn. – Cargill has joined a growing list of food companies affected by a large Canadian beef recall.

The recall has been ongoing and involves meat and ground beef products manufactured by Edmonton, Alberta-based XL Foods Inc. Cargill bought beef trim from XL Foods, and products containing the trim were sold to a Canadian retailer and some foodservice customers.

Mike Martin, a Cargill spokesman, said that no fresh beef sold by Cargill to US retailers is involved in the XL Foods recall; however some of the company's beef products sold to a handful of US foodservice customers were impacted by the XL Foods recall.

"We have been working closely with those companies since last week to manage the situation," Martin said in an email. "In Canada, there are two Cargill retail customers that are impacted by the XL Foods beef recall, and Cargill has been working with them to address the situation. Those retailers are recovering impacted beef from consumers. All impacted Canadian retailers are listed on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Internet website. Not all of the retail customers listed on the CFIA website are Cargill customers."

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) suspended XL Foods, Inc.’s operations license because the agency said deficiencies in the company’s food safety processes have not been corrected. Additionally, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the US Department of Agriculture expanded a health alert about the products to 30 states. Affected products now include steaks, roasts, mechanically tenderized steaks and roasts, and ground beef, FSIS said.

Beef processed by XL Foods has been linked to several confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 in Alberta. However, there have been no illnesses reported in the US. The recall has been expanded several times to include more than 250 food items at major grocery chains throughout Canada and the US in addition to small retailers, meat markets and butcher shops in Canada.

"Cargill has been working with XL Foods and government agencies, as have other meat processors that are XL Foods customers, to identify all of the ground beef products involved," Martin said. "At Cargill, we are confident that we have identified impacted products and have taken appropriate actions to address the situation involving beef that Cargill purchased from, and was ultimately recalled by, XL Foods. We are monitoring this situation as it continues to unfold."

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