Canadian food inspectors suspended operations at an Edmonton, Alberta, beef plant last week. Capital packers detected the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes on the sleeve of one of its employees and notified the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The CFIA suspended the company's license as a precautionary measure after finding it was unable to properly track the whereabouts of its products, reports Reuters.
"The company's ability to understand the distribution of their products is in question and is an element of concern for us, hence the license suspension," Paul Mayers, associate vice-president of programs at the CFIA, told reporters on a teleconference.
Initially, the company told the CFIA that the potentially affected products were under its control. The CFIA's own investigation determined that they may in fact have been delivered to several provinces, Mayers said.
Capital Packers has voluntarily recalled ham sausages under the Capital and Compliments brand names.
"The ham sausage recall that is underway is not directly related to the suspension, however we are voluntarily recalling this product because there was found to be a positive for Listeria on an employee sleeve working on a packaging equipment line," the company said in a statement. "We are working closely with the CFIA to rectify this situation in a timely manner."
CFIA officials said the plant will remain closed until they are satisfied that the company has improved its record-keeping, adding that additional products could be added to the recall as the investigation continues.