Statement from XL Foods
Health Canada is warning consumers about possible E. coli in several brands of beef distributed by Alberta's XL Foods.
Published Wednesday, September 26, 2012 5:23PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 26, 2012 5:30PM MDT
Company Concerned About People who are Experiencing Illness ~ XL Foods Enhances Food Safety Measures
EDMONTON, ALBERTA September 26, 2012 – XL Foods Inc. (“XL”) and its employees are deeply concerned for the wellbeing of anyone who has become ill due to e coli contamination. Even though there has been no definitive link of illness between our products and people who have become ill, we are very concerned for their well being and working in their best interests. Our thoughts are with those who have become ill at this time.
XL is working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (“CFIA”) and Alberta Health Services (“AHS”) to understand more about the recall of steaks that the CFIA has indicated caused illness. As the product was purchased at one store, the CFIA has raised questions about where in the supply chain contamination occurred. XL will continue to keep customers and consumers informed as investigation findings become available.
XL Foods Inc. is progressing swiftly with the implementation of enhanced trend analysis and documentation processes as a result of the CFIA findings from its completed in-depth review of the food safety controls at the XL Foods facility. Related to XL’s voluntary recall of beef trimmings and ground beef announced on September 16, 2012, CFIA’s in-depth review focused on the plant's preventative control measures, food-safety policies and procedures, laboratory methodology and equipment and quality systems.
The CFIA review into XL food safety protocols indicated, “While the review did not identify one single factor that would lead to E. coli O157:H7 contamination, the combination of several deficiencies could have played a role. By themselves, each of these findings would not typically signal an immediate concern during the course of normal inspection activities.”
The review conducted by CFIA verified the effectiveness of XL’s E. coli 0157:H7 control program. CFIA did observe two deficiencies, the first was a deficiency in the application of trend analysis performed by XL. XL has developed and initiated a response plan that exceeds industry standards and has been accepted by CFIA. CFIA indicated that it has “accepted the company’s plan and will monitor corrective actions to verify that they have been implemented effectively.”
The second deficiency noted during the CFIA review related to documentation of process. XL has implemented increased documentation processes to comply with CFIA requests. By developing these enhanced measures XL will increase the level of food safety.
XL Foods is committed to producing high quality beef products, and the safety of our consumers is our number one priority. We will continue to act in their best interests throughout the completion of the recall, investigation into source of contamination and implementation of enhanced systems to ensure something like this never happens again. Food safety is simply too important to our customers, our employees and our business.