SASKATOON MEAT PLANT CLOSED AFFTER E. COLI RECALL

Saskatoon meat plant closed after E. coli recall

BY DEREK ABMA, POSTMEDIA NEWS MARCH 20, 2012 11:43 AM

The frozen beef products affected by a growing E. coli-related recall all came from a Saskatoon-based food-processing plant that has since stopped operations, a government official said Tuesday.

Garfield Balsom, food safety and recall specialist with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, said all the beef burgers and steakettes in question were made by New Food Classics in a Saskatoon plant, which has since gone into receivership.

“This establishment is no longer in business,” he said.

Balsom said operations at this plant stopped after the CFIA began an investigation related to this recall on Feb. 15 as a result of a complaint of involving someone who had become ill after consuming products from this business.

The CFIA’s first recall was issued Feb. 18. On Tuesday, it was expanded to include the more than 135 products now being taken off shelves for fear they could be contaminated with E. coli.

The products have been distributed nationally to stores, restaurants and institutional establishments, said the CFIA, a federal government agency.

The products were made at the Saskatoon plant between July 1 last year and Feb. 15. Balsom could not comment on whether there was a connection between the current recall and the plant’s closure.

Phone numbers listed for the company were not being answered Tuesday.

The brand names included in this recall include Best Value, PC, PC Blue Menu, Calgary Stampede, Country Morning, Country Morning Gold, Exclusive Selections, Grillhouse, Heritage Angus Beef, Irresistibles, Keg, Licks, Maple Lodge Farms, Simply Food, Webers, Western Family and others.

The affected products can be identified by an “establishment number,” or EST, of 761, which appears on the packages, cartons or cases.

So far, just one illness associated with eating one of the affected products has been reported.

The complete list of recalled products can be found online at: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2012/20120319cliste.shtml.

Symptoms of the potentially deadly bacteria, which usually start within three to four days of eating contaminated food, usually last from five to 10 days.

They include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), vomiting, nausea, headache and little or no fever.

dabma@postmedia.com

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