BROOKS, Alberta – XL Foods Inc. recently resumed shipping beef products for the first time since an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 shut down the plant. The company began shipping a wide range of products, including ground beef and steaks.
"Establishment 38 is currently operating under enhanced oversight, which includes a requirement for trim and ground beef to test negative before being released into the marketplace," said Lisa Gauthier, senior media relations officer for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. "Since resuming operations at the plant, the first product to be cleared to enter the marketplace was on Nov. 2, 2012, when the first set of test results came back negative for E. coli contamination.
"It is the company's decision to ship to retailers or export as per the availability of market."
Local news reports said the product is being packaged under the JBS label. JBS USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Brazil-based JBS SA, reached an agreement with XL Foods to manage the Brooks plant — XL Lakeside. XL Lakeside is one of the largest employers in southern Alberta and one of Canada's largest beef processors with a processing capacity of 4,000 head of cattle per day.