While the XL Foods facility in Brooks, Alberta is still awaiting the go-ahead from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to resume production, the Cargill plant in High River has been operating six days a week, using workers from the same union as XL Foods’ employees.
XL Foods has been closed since Sept. 27 due to an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 11 people in Canada. A massive recall of beef products affected both Canadian and North American establishments. Since then, Cargill’s facility has added a Saturday shift and has been running six days a week to keep up with the demand. The plant processes about 4,500 cattle daily, reports The Canadian Press.
Brigitte Burgoyne, a Cargill spokeswoman, said the company follows and strives to exceed Canadian Food Inspection Agency standards for cleanliness.
"We work with the CFIA to ensure that we are adhering to their expected processes," she said Monday.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1118 union, which last week criticized XL Foods for its working and food safety conditions, said the union has a good relationship with the Cargill managers. Peter Frost, a union representative, said the company listens when any of the 2,000 union members who work there have ideas or point out concerns.
"This employer ... when we bring forward food safety issues, they are more than willing to listen and respond in a very timely fashion," Frost said.
Source: The Canadian Press, Vancouver Sun