Food officials say Alberta meat plant didn’t follow or update E. coli plan

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The Canadian Press

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the meat plant at the centre of a major beef recall had a plan to battle E. coli but wasn’t following or updating that plan.

The agency says it requested information from XL Foods by Sept. 8, but the company missed the deadline by two days and the documents it did hand over were unusable.

XL Foods provided officials with better information starting Sept. 11.

A recall of ground beef was eventually issued Sept. 16 and has been expanded to include more than 1,800 beef products across Canada and much of the United States.

Health officials say five people in Alberta got sick from E. coli after eating steaks processed at the plant in Brooks, Alta.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Health Department says a person in the eastern part of the province has been infected by a specific strain of E. coli that’s being investigated at XL Foods Inc.

It says the person who became ill has recovered.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the provincial government are working to determine the source of the infection.

The government hasn’t released any other information about the individual who became ill.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency first started detecting E. coli from the factory in Alberta in early September.

The XL plant has had its licence suspended and the federal agriculture minister has said it won’t be reopened until he receives a written notice from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that it is safe.

Organizations: Canadian Food Inspection Agency, XL Foods, Health Department

Geographic location: Alberta, Canada, Brooks

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  • Judy
    October 05, 2012 - 19:16

    My heavens, such a major long-time operating meat plant being so slack in keeping their inspections, etc., up to date caused so many terrible consequences to innocent people. Now the plant owners have to suffer the consequences of such carelessness and inconsideration for the public's safety and health. They should be shut down permanently. However, I do feel sad for the employees and the community.