Beef recall expanded for sixth time
EDMONTON — The recall of potentially E. coli-tainted beef products from an Edmonton producer was expanded for a sixth time Sunday.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has added new products to the recall list, which now stretches to the Maritime provinces.
Products added Sunday to the countrywide recall list include beef patties, meat loaf and ground beef distributed to Sobeys and Foodland stores in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.
CFIA spokeswoman Lisa Gauthier said the list of more than 200 products could continue to grow.
"There is a possibility that, through our food safety investigation, we could identify additional products and the recall could be expanded again. At this point, we're working with the company and distributors to identify and verify all affected products," she said.
XL Foods Inc. voluntarily issued the initial recall Sept. 16, two weeks after tainted ground beef products were discovered at the Canada-U.S. border.
The company has now posted information on its website telling customers to return recalled products to the retailers they purchased them from, or to contact XL Foods directly at 1-866-467-1514 or email@example.com.
Alberta Health Services is investigating four recent cases of E. coli in Edmonton and one in Calgary, but health authorities have not established a link between the illnesses and the beef recall.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service in the U.S. has also issued an advisory warning consumers that XL Foods products have been distributed in California, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
Gauthier said the affected products, which were available for sale from Aug. 24 through Sept. 16, have been removed from the marketplace. An up-to-date list of recalled items can be found at inspection.gc.ca.
"At this point, we just want consumers to check what they already have and ensure that during those specific production dates, they don't have any of those matching products. And if they do, to not consume them," Gauthier said.
The recall includes unlabelled and/or unbranded ground beef products sold at small retailers, local meat markets and butcher shops not identified in the product list.
The CFIA advises consumers who are unsure if they have affected ground beef products to check with the stores where they purchased the beef, or throw it out.
Gauthier said the CFIA is currently gathering product information from numerous companies and investigating the XL Foods plant.
Consumption of foods contaminated with E. coli can cause serious and life-threatening illnesses.