Alberta-based XL Foods, Inc. is voluntarily recalling 260 more varieties of beef, announced the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in a health alert yesterday. These newly recalled meats have been added to hundreds of other beef products recalled by the company in the past two weeks.
The problem was initially discovered by U.S. inspectors who discovered E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef samples taken at the Canadian border in Canada. CFIA conducted its own testing the next day, but the first recall was not initiated until September 16.
Since that time, CFIA has expanded the recall 13 times and U.S. retailers have announced recalls of beef products from XL sold in at least 41 states. Over 1,100 beef products have hit the chopping block as part of this recall.
At least four illnesses have been linked to beef strips manufactured by XL and sold at Costco, and five more are known to be under investigation.
Some beef products listed in this latest recall – including rump roast, soup bones and tenderized hip steak among others – have not been listed in previous recalls updates linked to the outbreak, which have mainly included ground beef and various whole and tenderized cuts.
Items subject to this recall were manufactured on the same dates as XL’s previously recalled ground beef products, according to CFIA. Specifically, these production dates include August 24, 27, 28, 29 and September 5, 2012.
A full list of the newly recalled meats is available here.
Affected products were sold in retail stores across the country, including Dominion, Extra Foods, Real Atlantic, Save Easy, ValuFoods, Valu-mart, VillageMart and Zehrs, among others.
At least one-third of the Canadian beef supply is estimated to be affected by XL’s recent recalls.
CFIA has closed the XL plant in Alberta until further notice, although Monday before the latest recall was issued there was talk of the plant reopening within the next few days.
Canadian officials say this recall investigation has prompted CFIA to examine product tracking requirements for companies in order to improve traceback.
“If they don’t put the dots together to get the big picture for the day, they may be missing something. And that’s where we have an improvement and we’re going to make something happen,” said Richard Arsenault, the agency’s director of meat inspection, according to the Edmonton Journal.© Food Safety News