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18th Victim Added to Canada’s E. coli Outbreak

Another E. coli case linked to beef from XL Foods’ Brooks, Alberta processing facility has raised the number of victims in the ongoing outbreak to 18.

This newest victim, an Alberta resident, became ill around Oct. 15 from eating beef kept in a home freezer, according to the provincial health agency, which is continuing the investigation.

It is the eighth E coli illness to occur in Alberta associated with the contamination of the XL beef plant. There are also six cases in Quebec, three in British Columbia, and one in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Of the 18 victims, 6 have been hospitalized, but no fatalities have been connected with the outbreak. Over half of the illnesses (10) have involved men, and ages of the victims ranged from 5 to 63.

XL’s recall involved more than 2,000 products, making it the largest meat recall in Canadian history. Also recalled was about 2.5 million pounds of beef that was exported to the U.S. No E. coli illnesses matching the XL stain have surfaced yet on the U.S. side of the border.

The Brooks slaughterhouse, with a daily capacity of 4,200 head, is located about 300 miles north of the U.S.-Canadian border, which was closed to XL by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The beef plant was temporarily shut down, reopening after XL’s facilities in the U.S. and Canada were turned over to JBS, USA , which has an option to purchase XL within six months for $100 million.

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