OTTAWA, Ontario – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) began a detailed assessment of the XL Foods, Inc. Brooks, Alberta-based processing plant at the center of a massive recall of beef products.
CFIA said the assessment will determine if the facility has addressed deficiencies the agency uncovered as part of its in-depth E. coli investigation. Recommendations will be based on the results of the assessment, CFIA said.
"CFIA inspectors will verify that the sanitary conditions of both the slaughter and processing areas of the plant, including all equipment, meet the requirements of Canada's Meat Inspection Regulations," the agency said in a statement. "The CFIA will also verify that preventive controls will effectively manage E. coli risks once the plant is operational."
All products at the plant remain under detention by CFIA, the agency said. XL Foods' operations license also remains suspended during the investigation. CFIA said operations will be subject to enhanced oversight and specific conditions after the agency is fully satisfied that the plant has implemented effective controls to manage food safety risks at all stages of production.
CFIA issued numerous Corrective Action Requests (CARs) following an in-depth review of the company’s processing operations. The agency said no one single factor led to E. coli O157:H7 contamination. However, the combination of several deficiencies could have played a role. Individually, each finding would not typically signal an immediate concern during the course of normal inspection activities, the CFIA explained.