E. coli recall expands, CFIA seizes all product from XL Foods; needle tenderized steak to blame, again?

A recall of E. coli O157:H7 contaminated meat from Alberta has been expanded for the eighth time, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has seized all product from XL Packers, while the province has ordered Costco to stop needle tenderizing steaks.

The explosive developments come three weeks after U.S. inspectors initially found E. coli O157:H7 in XL meat crossing the border, and fundamentally undermine the role of CFIA inspectors and Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz, who is responsible for CFIA.

CFIA issued a statement last night, stating that to date, the company has not adequately implemented agreed upon corrective actions and has not presented acceptable plans to address longer-term issues.

Therefore, effective immediately, the CFIA has temporarily suspended the licence to operate Establishment 38 – XL Foods, Inc. All products currently at this plant are under CFIA detention and control. These products will only be released after being tested for E. coli O157:H7. The company has also expanded its voluntary recall of raw meat produced on August 24, 27, 28, 29 and September 5.

XL Foods Inc. will not resume operations until they have demonstrated that they have fully implemented CFIA’s required corrective actions.

Meanwhile, four of the eight known cases of E. coli O157:H7 matching the outbreak strain have been linked to New York strip steaks sold from an Edmonton Costco.

And more meanwhile, an Edmonton butcher told iNews880 all their meat is local, coming from farms around the city, and there is no risk of coming into his shop and finding the same beef being recalled everywhere else.

(I don’t know why the text is bold in places; we have really limited resources and our resource is on holiday.)