Canada: 1500+ Beef Products Prepared by XL Foods Contaminated With E. Coli Bacteria

 

                           On Sunday October 7, 2012 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) added 24 more items to the evergrowing list of beef products affected by the e-coli outbreak putting the total number of products at over 1500.  On September 22 nine items were added to the list, the sixth time in under a week that the list was expanded (first recall was issued on September 16th) bringing the item number up to 210.  As of the most recent recall (Oct 7) there are altogether 1500+ beef products on the list, all distributed by Edmonton-based XL Foods Inc;  October 15 update - recall involves over 1500 products

Photo below:  Eight of the nine products added on September 23 only affects consumers in Atlantic Canada (meatloaf, frozen patties and ground beef sold at Sobeys and its subsidiary Foodland), the other product is ground beef sold at Wal-Mart locations in Western Canada.  Listed at bottom of article are the supermarkets and beef products affected by the recall.

Also disconcerting is the fact that Canada's food inspection agency didn't issue advisories until two weeks after US inspectors initially made the discovery on September 3, 2012Fast facts :  XL Foods processed on average 5000 cows per day | Canadians spend 9.7% of their income on food |  Cargill, Alberta's only other beef slaughterhouse is now operating at full capacity (4500 cows per day).  Cargill employs 2000 people.

The beef recalled by XL Foods was used to make various frozen and fresh beef products that ended up being sold under various banners including those used by Costco (Kirkland), Wal-Mart, Safeway, Sobeys, Loblaw Companies (Superstore, No Frills, etc), Metro Inc., Super C.  Update - On October 7, 2012 three new Western Canada grocers were added to the list - HanAhReum Mart (8 products, ribs, steaks packaged between Sept 1 and Sept 22), Africa Trading (4 products sold between Sept 28 and Oct 2), Urban Fare (12 products kabobs, sirloin steaks, with best before dates ranging from Sept 9 to Oct 15).  Keep in mind that not all locations of each affected supermarket were affected (only in the Western provinces did No Frills carry contaminated items).  Warnings on products from Sobeys in Atlantic Canada weren't issued until day 2.

 

E.Coli what you should know -- Contaminated food isn't readily distinguishable from that which is safe;  It may not look bad or smell spoiled.  Consequences of consuming it -- abdominal pain, kidney damage, bloody diarrhoea.  mortality rate is high among children: 15%.

 Timeline

Oct 5, 2012 - Product recall expands to over 1500 which is 7X the number of products recalled just one week earlier.

Sept 20, 2012 - Sobeys/Foodland locations in Ontario added to list of stores carrying contaminated products.  19 products prepared for Alberta chain Freson Bros.  Douglas Meats products sold at Sobeys/Foodland/IGA and Marketplace Co-op.

Sept 19, 2012 - Products sold by IGA and COOP added to warning list. Northwest Territories and Yukon affected (coop).

Sept 18, 2012 - Giant Tiger food products added to the list but only locations in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan (3 products all ground beef, regular/lean), Nunavut added to regions affected (regular ground beef).

Sept 17, 2012 - Products made from beef voluntarily recalled by XL Foods Inc, expanded to include beef sold at Sobeys, Loblaw Companies (10 pork, sausage, beef products), Loblaw Companies other banners (8 products), Metro Inc. (4 Metro /4 Super C).

Sept 16, 2012 - CFIA issues E. coli O157:H7 health warning for 26 beef products. They appear in products sold at Costco (3 under the Kirkland label), Safeway regular/lean ground beef (18 products) and Calahoo Meats (1 product).

List of all supermarkets affected as of October 8, 2012: click name to view products - 49th Parallel Grocery, Africa Trading, Atlantic Superstore, Big Way, Bonichoix, Brooks Meat Packers, Buy-Low Foods, Bulkley Valley Wholesale, Butchers Cuts, Calahoo Meats, Safeway Canada, Cooper's Foods, Club Entrepot, CO-OP, Costco Wholesale, Country Grocer, Délectable, Dominion, Douglas Meats, Douglas Meats (Foodland IGA), Douglas Meats (Marketplace Co-op), Entrepot de Viandes, Extra Foods, Fairway Markets, Food Basics, Foodland, Freson Bros., Giant Tiger, HanAhReum Mart, IGA, The Kitchen Table, Lavergne Western Beef Inc., Les Marchés, Les viandes P.P. Hallé Ltée, Loblaw, Longos, Marché Richelieu, Marchés AMI, Marketplace Co-op, Maxi, Maxi & Cie, Metro, Nesters Market, No Frills, Northern, Omni, Osaka Supermarket, Ottenbreit's Meats, Overwaitea Foods, Pasquier, PC, Prairie Meats, Premium Sausage, Presto, Price Chopper, PriceSmart Foods, Provigo, Quality Foods, Real Canadian Superstore, Real Canadian WholeSale Club, Reddi Food Solutions Inc., Reg's Homestyle Meats And Deli, Safeway, Save Easy, Save-On-Foods, Shop Easy, Smith's Quality Meats, Sobeys, Sobeys/Foodland, Sobeys / IGA, Steakhouse Angus Select, SuperValu, Super A, Super C, T & T Supermarket, Tendero, TGP Warehouse Market, Thrifty Foods, Tradition, Urban Fare, ValuFoods, Valu-Mart, Viandes VP Meats, Village Mart, Walmart, Westfair, Your Independent Grocer, Zehrs

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