Recalled Ground Beef Products: CFIA’s Review of XL Foods Inc.’s Safety Controls

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

This is an update to my previous blogs:

Here is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA’s) summary (September 24, 2012) of its completed in-depth review of the food safety controls at the ground beef manufacturer facility, XL Foods Inc., where positive E. coli O157:H7 bacteria findings have led to a voluntary recall of more than 250 ground beef products:

“Summary of the CFIA’s investigation

September 24, 2012

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has completed its in-depth review of the food safety controls at the XL Foods Inc. facility where positive E. coli O157:H7 findings have led to a voluntary recall of more than 250 products. The CFIA continues to identify additional products affected by this recall and conduct effectiveness checks to verify that affected product has been removed from the marketplace.

The in-depth review focused on the plant’s preventative control measures, food-safety policies and procedures, laboratory methodology, and equipment and quality systems.

While the review did not identify one single factor that would lead to E. coli O157:H7 contamination, the combination of several deficiencies could have played a role. By themselves, each of these findings would not typically signal an immediate concern during the course of normal inspection activities.

The CFIA has identified a number of issues with regards to the establishment’s preventative control plan. The detection of E. coli in slaughter facilities is not uncommon, and plants are expected to have adequate measures in place to monitor higher than normal detection rates and modify control measures accordingly. This trend analysis was not always conducted consistently at the facility.

In addition, deviations were noted from the company’s documented E. coli O157:H7 control measures and sampling and testing procedures. The company was unable to demonstrate through its documentation that it regularly reviewed or made necessary updates to its control plan for the facility.

XL Foods Inc. has developed a response plan. The CFIA has accepted the company’s plan and will monitor corrective actions to verify that they have been implemented effectively.

As of September 24, 2012, the CFIA has issued seven alerts identifying products that are affected by this recall. To date, more than 250 products have been affected by this recall. The CFIA continues to collect information from suppliers, distributors and retailers, so there is a possibility that additional products could be identified and further expansions could be issued.

The CFIA continues to work with its provincial and federal public health counterparts. To date, health authorities have not established a link between this recall and any illnesses.

Please note:

  • Recall Classification: Class 1
    • is a situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death

Contact Info:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)  at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).


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