OTTAWA, Ontario – A combination of several “deficiencies” in the food safety controls at an XL Foods Inc. facility could have led to positive E. coli O157:H7 findings, according to a report from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
The CFIA completed its review of the XL Foods plant where testing revealed E. coli contamination. The in-depth review included the plant's preventative control measures, food-safety policies and procedures, laboratory methodology, and equipment and quality systems, the agency said.
CFIA said investigators identified a number of issues related to the company's preventative control plan. Although the detection of E. coli in slaughter facilities is not uncommon, CFIA said, plants should establish adequate procedures to monitor higher than normal detection rates and modify control measures accordingly. XL Foods did not consistently conduct a trend analysis at the facility, CFIA said.
Also, investigators noted deviations from the company’s documented E. coli O157:H7 control measures and sampling and testing procedures, according to the agency. XL Foods was unable to demonstrate through its documentation that it regularly reviewed or made necessary updates to its control plan.
XL Foods submitted a response plan, which CFIA accepted. The agency said investigators will continue to monitor corrective actions taken at the facility to ensure effective implementation of the response plan.
More than 250 products were affected by the recall, according to CFIA. The investigation is ongoing, and it is possible that additional products could be identified.