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XL Foods Processing Under Enhanced CFIA Oversight

25 October 2012

CANADA - Following a thorough assessment of food safety controls at Establishment 38, XL Foods Inc., the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has lifted the suspension on the facility’s licence to operate.

The plant will now be allowed to progressively resume slaughter and processing operations under enhanced CFIA surveillance and increased testing protocols.

Since 11 October, CFIA inspectors have been closely monitoring limited, in-house operations, including the cutting and processing of the remaining carcasses in the plant.

Following this thorough examination, the Agency determined that the company’s E. coli O157:H7 controls, as well as sanitation and meat hygiene procedures, are being implemented appropriately.

Additional CFIA inspectors—beyond the 46 normally assigned full-time to the plant—will remain at the facility to monitor the company’s slaughter procedures and to ensure strengthened food safety controls are being effectively integrated into daily plant practices.

The CFIA’s enhanced oversight activities include:

  • two additional inspection resources, in addition to the current complement, will focus on certain inspection tasks at key stages of production,
  • increasing testing for E. coli O157:H7, over and above the company’s already established testing protocol, which sees all trim lots sampled and tested, and
  • holding products until all E. coli O157:H7 test results have been assessed.

CFIA inspectors will immediately stop operations at any point if concerns are identified.

Canada's food safety system remains among the best in the world, but events such as this underscore the need for continuous review and improvement.

The CFIA will be convening its Expert Advisory Committee to conduct a thorough review of events and circumstances related to the XL Foods Inc. E. coli O157:H7 investigation. The Committee is comprised of experts from private sector and academia, and is supported by technical experts from the CFIA, Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

The results of the review will be made public once completed.

As a responsible, science-based regulator, the CFIA regularly reviews its policies and procedures to ensure they are aligned with current science and best practices.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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