CFIA Updated Statement on XL Foods

 

Summary of the CFIA’s investigation

Stay informed:

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.

September 22, 2012

The CFIA continues to work with XL Foods Inc. and responsible distributors and retailers to gather product and distribution information.

On September 22, 2012 the CFIA issued its sixth expanded alert identifying more products that are affected by this recall. To date, over 210 products have been affected by this recall. As per normal practice, the CFIA is undertaking a food safety investigation on this issue and there is a possibility that additional products could be identified and further expansions could be issued. Any new information and all product and distribution information to date, can be found on the CFIA website at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/recalls.

This voluntary recall initiated by the company follows positive test results for E. coliO157:H7 in product shipped from this facility. As a result, the CFIA is undertaking an in-depth review at the establishment to assess how and where contamination occurred. This review includes analysis of preventative control measures, food-safety policies and procedures, laboratory methodology, and the establishment’s equipment and quality systems.

The Agency will work with the company to take immediate action in response to any issues of concern at the establishment. The CFIA will conduct its review as quickly as possible. The safety of consumers is our top priority and we will work diligently to ensure there is no potential risk to consumers.

The CFIA is closely collaborating with its provincial and federal public health counterparts. At this time, health authorities have not established a link between this recall and any illnesses.

 

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