FOOD SAFETY SCAN: CFIA flags beef plant problems, E coli in mixed greens

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Nov 5, 2012

More problems as Canadian beef producer resumes operations
Canadian food safety inspectors have flagged additional problems at XL Foods, Inc., since it resumed operations on Oct 29 after being shuttered for several weeks in the wake of a massive beef recall in Canada and the United States, according to a Nov 3 statement from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The company's contaminated beef has been linked to an Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak in Canada that has now sickened 17 people, according to a Nov 1 update from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The CFIA said it's not surprising that inspectors would find problems at the plant in the wake of its temporary closure, which included condensation on pipes in the facility's tripe room, water in a sanitizer not maintained at a high temperature, inadequate clearing of meat-cutting areas, and lack of sanitizing solution in mats used to clean employee boots. CFIA officials asked plant management to address the rendering of potentially contaminated beef, bring sanitizers into compliance, clean and sanitize the meat-cutting area, add sanitizer to the boot mats, and submit a long-term plan for addressing the issues. Product testing by the CFIA and the plant are under way, and trim and ground beef products are being held until lab tests suggest they are safe, the CFIA said.
Nov 3 CFIA statement
Nov 1 PHAC update

E coli cases lead to recall of spinach salad mix
A Rochester, N.Y.–based supermarket chain has recalled 31,000 pounds of its organic salad mix after 16 people in New York state fell ill with Escherichia coli O157:H7 after eating the product, according to Food Safety News (FSN). Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., has recalled Wegmans Organic Spinach and Spring Mix sold in 5- and 11-ounce clamshells in its stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts from Oct 14 to Nov 1, the company said in a Nov 2 news release. The New York State Department of Health has confirmed cases in Monroe, Niagara, Steuben, and Wayne counties, including four hospitalizations, FSN reported. Ten of the cases are in Monroe County, home to Rochester, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is testing samples of the product, FSN said. Wegmans said that only products with a use-by date of Oct 23 are connected to the outbreak, but the recall involves all lots with a use-by-date up to Nov 9. The salad mix was supplied to Wegmans by State Garden, Inc., based in Chelsea, Mass.
Nov 2 FSN story
Nov 2 Wegmans news release
Nov 2 Democrat and Chronicle report

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