Beef recall is largest in Canadian history
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is in the midst of the largest recall of beef in Canadian history, a recall that covers every province and territory in the country and 40 of the 52 U.S. states.
The recall is connected to possible E. coli contamination in beef products produced in the XL Foods meat-processing plant in Brooks, Alta.
The CFIA's recall has affected 1,500 beef products as of this week.
See the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website here at for a full list of recalled products or call 1-800-442-2342 for more information.
There have been illnesses in Alberta linked to tainted beef from XL Foods, while a number of E. coli cases in Saskatchewan may be linked. No E. coli cases have been reported in B.C.
The CFIA is warning consumers to not eat the meat involved in the recall. Stores and restaurants are not to sell or serve the products, which were manufactured at the XL Foods plant on Aug. 24, Aug. 27, Aug. 28, Aug. 29 and Sept. 5.
WHAT IS E. COLI?
The E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria is the same pathogen that resulted in the deaths if seven people and the illnesses of 2,500 others when it contaminated the water supply in Walkerton, Ont.
• Severe stomach cramps
• Diarrhea (often bloody)
• Little or no fever
Start of symptoms/how long they last:
Symptoms usually start within three to four days, but can occur up to 10 days later. They can last from five to 10 days.
How you can get sick:
- By eating or drinking food or beverages contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, unpasteurized (raw) milk and (raw) milk products and untreated water.
- Through contact with cattle or other farm animals and the feces of infected people.
- Through cross-contamination between raw meat and other food when you are preparing food.
- People and animals can carry the bacteria without showing symptoms of illness and can spread it to foods, surfaces or other people.
Potential health impacts:
- Up to 15 per cent of children infected, and a much smaller proportion of adults, develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This is a type of kidney failure and blood disorder.
- Most people with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent kidney and other organ damage and complications, or may die.
Food commonly associated:
- Beef, raw and undercooked, ground and whole cuts.
- Unpasteurized apple juice or cider.
- Unpasteurized (raw) milk and (raw) milk products, such as raw milk cheese.
- Untreated drinking water.
- Contaminated raw fruit and vegetables that are not cooked (including alfalfa and bean sprouts).
How to protect yourself:
- Cook food to a safe internal temperature.
- Use a digital food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your food. Go online here to find out how to safely cook all types of meat.
- Eat and drink only pasteurized apple juice, cider, milk and milk products.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing or eating food.
- Wash your hands after contact with animals or their environments (at farms, petting zoos, and fairs).
- Drink water from a safe supply (treated or boiled water).
- Keep raw food away from other food while shopping, and while storing, preparing and serving foods.
• Leftovers again? Reheat leftovers only one time and to a safe internal temperature of 74 C (165 F).
• Throw away any uneaten leftovers after they have been reheated.