XL Foods, the producer involved in a major beef product recall, has said it takes full responsibility for its facilities and the food there, and will work to improve plant standards.
In an Oct. 4 statement published by several media outlets, the company said safety protocols at its Brooks, Alta. plant, where E. coli was detected, had clearly not been enough and that the plant will “reopen under intensified and enhanced testing protocols.”
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and XL Foods began issuing health hazard alerts over potential E. coli concerns on Sept. 16 and have released several updates since then. The most recent update expanded the list of recalled products again on Oct. 3.
The recall is related to five production dates in the plant including Aug. 24, 27, 28 and 29 and Sept. 5. The CFIA website said it began investigating immediately when on Sept. 4, XL Foods had a positive result for E. Coli during routine testing at the Brooks plant.
In a statement on Oct. 4, federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz claimed a media report that the plant was partially functioning was "false."
“…the XL plant will not be allowed to reopen until the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed that it is safe,” he said in the statement. “The facility will not be allowed to reopen until the President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed, in writing to me, that it is safe,” he added.
The recall has caused political tensions, as opposition parties and some provincial politicians are questioning the speed of the federal government’s response to the crisis.
An Edmonton man who claims he got sick from eating tainted meat from the plant has also filed a class action lawsuit against the food company. The claims have not been proven in court.