Ex-pat food safety type Ben Chapman, described as currently professoring at North Carolina State University, was brought in by Canadian media today to add his perspective on the creepy crawly E. coli O157:H7 recall that now includes 135 different products.
“(It’s) really a nasty bug. As a father of two little boys, it’s one of the bugs that scares me the most.”
Chapman added that the growing nature of the beef recall shows that authorities "just weren’t able to find out what the history of the (originally suspect) product was, so they’ve essentially recalled everything that producer has put out."
Garfield Balsom, a food safety and recall specialist at the Canadian Food Inspection Agenc, clarified the expanded recall of frozen burgers and steakettes all came from a Saskatoon food-processing plant operating under the name New Food Classics that has since stopped operations.
Chapman recommended using a thermometer to ensure hamburger has reached an internal temperature of 71C , noting that the inside color of meat is not a reliable indicator of how well cooked it is.
Norm Neault, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers union local representing New Food Classics workers in Saskatoon, said the company had been struggling for some time and had gone into creditor protection in January. He said it was facing higher prices from its distributors for the raw products yet locked into long-term prices with its customers, resulting in lower profit margins.
The complete list of recalled products can be found online at: www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2012/20120319cliste.shtml