Canada's ag minister to visit XL Foods plant

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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OTTAWA, Ontario – Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz will visit the XL Foods, Inc. meat processing facility in Brooks, Alberta, which is at the center of a massive beef products recall.

Meanwhile, health officials in Alberta have confirmed one new case of E. coli infection, bringing that province’s total to 10, although five of those cases were linked to the recall. Ritz’s home province of Saskatchewan is reporting 13 cases of E. coli in the last month. But provincial health officials are waiting for test results to determine if those illnesses are linked to the recall.

Close to 1.5 million lbs. of beef products, comprising 1,500 products, are affected by the recall, according to news reports in Canada.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) temporarily halted production at the plant. Officials with the agency said investigators are working with XL Foods to correct deficiencies in the facility's food safety processes. XL Foods could re-open the plant in a matter of days, however CFIA officials vowed the plant will remain closed until agency officials are sure it's safe to process beef.

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