Workers worried over plant shutdown
Published Friday, September 28, 2012 12:00PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, September 28, 2012 6:20PM MDT
The closure of the XL Foods Lakeside facility in Brooks is having a huge impact on the people who live there as many are employed by the meat processing company.
The plant employs over 2000 people and is one of the largest employers in Southern Alberta.
Nearly 14,000 people live in the City of Brooks, located about 180 km southeast of Calgary, and many depend on the facility for their livelihood.
“Of course we are worried because that company is our source of income, so no other source of income, my wife is working in there also at XL so if they close permanently I don’t know what will happen,’ said Randy Maunas who also works at the plant.
Some Lakeside workers say they were told to stop working on Thursday afternoon after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency suspended XL’s licence.
The suspension of the license came hours after the U.S. Department of Agriculture extended its public health alert about beef from the company to stores in 30 states.
Canada has already revoked the plant's permit to export beef to the U.S., at the request of the USDA.
At a press conference on Friday, The CFIA said the meat processing plant at the heart of the recall will not reopen until the agency is satisfied that testing standards are up to par.
“Our top priority is maintaining the safety of the food supply,” Dr. Brian Evans of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said. “To date the company has not implemented agreed upon corrective actions.”
Evans said operations at XL Foods’ massive Lakeside meat packing plant will not resume until "corrective measures" are implemented.
He said all products currently at the plant are under CFIA detention and control, and will be released only after being tested for dangerous strains of E. coli, a bacterium that can lead to fatal illness.
Several workers told CTV News that they were told to tentatively return to work on Tuesday.