Scope of Canadian beef recall keeps expanding

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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EDMONTON, Alberta – What has turned into the largest beef recall in Canadian history keeps getting bigger as officials with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) expanded the list of items affected by E. coli O157:H7 contamination.

CFIA expanded the recall beyond ground beef to include round steak, T-bone steaks, top sirloin, bone-in beef ribs, beef round steak, stew meat, stir fry strips, prime rib, boneless roasts and other beef products. The list of affected products has grown to more than 400 items when previously recalled items are included.

So far, there have been four confirmed illnesses linked to products affected by the recall.

Local news reports said many of Canada’s major retailers are affected by the recall, including Costco, Walmart, Loblaws and Supervalu No Frills among others. Minnetonka, Minn.-based Cargill was also among the major food companies affected the recall. Cargill bought beef trim from XL Foods, and products containing the trim were sold to a Canadian retailer and some foodservice customers. However, no fresh beef sold by Cargill to US retailers was involved in the XL Foods recall, according to Mike Martin, a Cargill spokesman.

CFIA temporarily suspended production at the XL Foods plant because of deficiencies in the company’s food safety processes. Officials with the agency said investigators continue to work with XL Foods to correct the problems, and that the company could re-open in a matter of days.

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