XL Foods Plant to Export to US Again13 December 2012
CANADA - XL Foods processing plant in Brooks, Alberta, that was at the centre of an e.coli oiutbreak has been approved to once again export beef to the US.
The re-listing received from the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) means the facility, operating under the management of animal protein processing giant JBS USA since mid-October, can now work towards getting back to normal capacity.
The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) President Martin Unrau said the additional capacity will ensure a competitive marketplace for Canadian cattle while the normalisation of operations at the Brooks plant will boost confidence in the Canada’s beef cattle industry.
“The resumption of full operations at Establishment 38, along with JBS’s recent appointment of Willie Van Solkema to head their Canadian operations, are positive signals for the industry,” Mr Unrau said.
“The return of safe, high-quality Canadian beef products from Establishment 38 into the US market is of course great news and a key piece to helping to restoring normalcy to the Canadian industry.
"On behalf of Canada’s cattle producers, I would like to thank Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz and the Government of Canada for their efforts and work with the USDA to achieve this science based approval.”
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) posted notification of the re-listing last week and noted that its enhanced oversight activities continue at the plant.
Operations of the Brooks facility were suspended in late September following an E.coli outbreak.
Corrective actions were undertaken by the facility’s new management team (JBS USA) and the facility received a clean bill of health from the CFIA in October along with the return of its operating license.
The plant has been operating under enhanced CFIA oversight since. The plant’s license to export to the U.S. was granted following a demonstrated ability to satisfy food safety protocols in the US.
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