Beef recall list expands again
Published Friday, September 28, 2012 6:00AM MDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 29, 2012 7:17PM MDT
The recall of potentially E. coli-tainted beef products from XL Foods Inc. was expanded Saturday.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has now added beef products carried by some Co-op stores to the growing list.
Many of these stores have already removed the products from their shelves, and have disinfected their meat freezers.
For a full list of recalled products, stores, and best before dates CLICK HERE.
CFIA spokeswoman Lisa Gauthier has said the list of more than 200 products is expected to grow.
On Friday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency expanded the Health Hazard Alert by adding whole muscle cuts to the list of previously recalled ground beef products from XL Foods.
The CFIA says the meat processing company will release a full list of the affected products shortly and that further investigation is underway to trace the specific brands and products affected.
The XL Foods Lakeside plant in Brooks was handed a temporary suspension on Thursday which will remain in effect until the company fulfills the requirements set out by the CFIA.
The CFIA says that XL Foods did attempt to make moves to handle the recall, but it wasn't enough.
The agency says the recall came two weeks after the initial discovery of contaminated beef in a shipment to the U.S.
Concern about the recall also made its way into question period Friday on Parliament Hill, with NDP and Liberal MPs blasting Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz for cuts they said the Conservatives had made to food inspection.
“Why did it take so long for officials to act and why isn’t the government putting the health and safety of Canadians first?” asked NDP MP Libby Davies, whose comments were echoed by fellow NDP MP Nycole Turmel.
Liberal MP Ralph Goodale garnered boos from the Conservative caucus when he charged that similar complacency about food safety had led to the Walkerton tragedy, which resulted in several deaths after people drank contaminated water in Walkerton, Ont. in 2000.
Ritz countered that the government is providing CFIA with the resources it needs and said the system is working as it’s supposed to.
“The timeline backstops the fact our system does work,” he said. “There is no endemic situation out there from E. coli.”
The nation-wide beef recall has affected hundred of products and stores across Canada.
The recall has also expanded south of the border, with a public health alert expanding to stores in another 30 U.S. states.
The first alert in the U.S. came when a shipment of beef headed to the country was stopped at the border in early September when inspectors detected the presence of E. coli.
The CFIA says that if you have concerns about beef that you've bought, throw it out or take it back to the store.
They also advise people to use a meat thermometer to cook your beef to a temperature of about 160 degrees Fahrenheit because E. coli can be destroyed by heat.