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E. Coli Ground Beef Recall Leads to U.S. Ban on Canadian Supplier

The U.S. has placed a ban on meat imported from XL Foods, the Canadian supplier behind a ground beef recall issued this week due to a risk of E. coli contamination. 

U.S. authorities asked the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to delist the XL Foods processing plant in Brooks, Alberta on September 13, citing a recall of more than 250 products due to E. coli contamination.

Most of the potentially contaminated products failed to reach store shelves, and the de-listing means that the plant can no longer import meat into the United States.

The move was announced a day after the Albertson’s grocery store chain announced it was recalling ground beef products in three states, all of which was supplied by XL Foods. The beef was sold in grocery stores in Idaho, Oregon and Washington state.

This was at least the seventh recall of ground beef for the Canadian processing plant.

The recall affects Albertsons raw ground beef products sold in stores between 9/3/12 and 9/21/12, including the following pre-packaged products are subject to the recall:

  • Fresh Ground Beef Patties 80/20, 1 LB, UPC: 7-52907-60030, USE BY Date: 9/11/12
  • Fresh Ground Beef Chub 73/27, 1 LB, UPC: 7-52907-18271, USE BY Date: 9/18/12 & 9/21/12
  • Fresh Ground Beef Chub 73/27, 3 LB, UPC: 7-52907-18251, USE BY Date: 9/18/12 & 9/21/12

E. coli O157:H7 is one of the more common causes of food poisoning in the United States. When left untreated, it can lead to dehydration and potentially life-threatening illness.

Symptoms of E. coli poisoning typically only last a few weeks for healthy adults.  However, young children and the elderly could be at risk for more severe illness, where the toxin may enter the blood stream. In rare cases, E. coli infections can lead to kidney failure, known as Hemolytic-Urenia Syndrome (HUS).

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