Canadian beef recall expands
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency on Tuesday widened an existing warning on frozen burgers and steakettes to now include more than 135 different products, due to the possibility they are contaminated with E. coli.
Post Media News reports that 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.
These products have been distributed nationally to retail stores, restaurants, and institutional establishments, and were manufactured between July 1, 2011 and February 15, 2012, reports the CFIA. There has been one confirmed illness related to this outbreak. The product sin question all came from New Food Classics, a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan processor. The plant has ceased operations since the initial recall was announced on Feb. 18. The closure of this operation was evident when workers there arrived to find it locked up on Feb. 21. About 150 people worked there. A CFIA spokesman could not comment on whether there was a connection between the recall and the plant's closure.
Norm Neault, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers union local representing New Food Classics workers in Saskatoon, said the company had been struggling for some time and had gone into creditor protection in January. He said it was facing higher prices from its distributors for the raw products yet locked into long-term prices with its customers, resulting in lower profit margins.
Neault said there was nothing he knew about the Saskatoon plant or its operations that would make him view it as a high risk for contamination. "To me, that was a fully modern plant; I have no idea why that would happen," he said.
Sources: Post Media News, CFIA