Garbage in, garbage out, surveys still suck: An exploratory case of XL Foods and the biggest food recall in Canadian history

With the occurrence of the E. coli scare in fall 2012, the Canadian beef industry experienced yet another difficult time, attracting significant media attention from Canadian media outlets to bring to the public’s attention throughout September and October of that year.

That happens when 18 people get sick with E. coli O157. But the real significance of this outbreak, besides comments about federal inspectors being too coosy with the slaughter-types, is that it led to labeling requirements for needle-tenderized beef in Canada.

None of that is mentioned in the paper below, which is awful.


The recall that plagued Canada’s XL Foods in 2012, tied to E. coli cases found in ground beef, was the largest food recall in Canadian history. As a result of the outbreak, 18 consumers allegedly became ill and XL Foods launched a voluntary recall of all packaged meats from the plant, and the plant underwent intense sanitation for weeks. This study aims to understand how the incident affected consumer confidence in the safety of ground beef. Unlike other food processors, XL Foods does not own and manage brands. XL Foods are sold under brands owned by food distributors and retailers in Canada and the United States. A survey was conducted months after the recall to assess long-term implications. Results suggest consumers still trust the safety of ground beef. Results of this research will also further foster understanding consequences of recalls for food marketing and its effects on consumer behavior.