OTTAWA, Ontario – A recall of frozen beef burgers from Canada Safeway Ltd. came in response to two cases of E. coli illness, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The CFIA was notified of the illnesses on February 13, the agency said. Based on the food histories of the people that became sick, CFIA began collecting samples of burgers from retail stores in Ontario and Western Canada for testing. The tests were positive for E. coli O157:H7. The CFIA announced on Feb. 20 the recall of Gourmet Meat Shoppe and The Butcher's Cut brands of frozen beef burgers that were sold through Canada Safeway Ltd. stores in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Northwest Territories, according to CFIA.

After the recall on Feb. 20, Cardinal Meat Specialists voluntarily recalled all products produced on the same line and the same day as the burgers that tested positive. CFIA said the agency is still waiting for test results to determine if the E. coli cases are linked to the recalled burgers. In December, the agency launched a separate E. coli investigation after a different brand of burgers produced by Cardinal Meat Specialists Ltd. was recalled. The agency is working to determine if and how these two situations may be linked.

“It's important to note that Cardinal Meat Specialists Ltd. is one of the largest producers of frozen burger patties in Canada, sourcing ingredients from a variety of other suppliers," the agency said in a statement. "Therefore, its involvement in a recall of frozen burgers does not necessarily signal a problem in the Cardinal Meat Specialists Ltd. facility itself.”