FSIS Expands Public Health Alert for Imported Canadian Beef from XL Foods

Congressional and Public Affairs
(202) 720-9113
Adam Tarr

Editors Note: The third paragraph of this Public Health Alert was updated on October 5, 2012 to reflect the approximate amount of products imported into the U.S. by XL Foods, Inc.

WASHINGTON, September 28, 2012 - The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is expanding the Public Health Alert for XL Foods (Canadian Establishment 038) to include all beef and beef products produced on August 24, 27, 28, 29 and September 5. FSIS was notified this evening that XL Foods has expanded their recall to include all beef and beef products produced on the above dates.

Information for Consumers

Because FSIS has been informed that all beef and beef products produced on the above dates are being recalled
PREPARING GROUND BEEF FOR SAFE CONSUMPTION

Wash hands before and after handling raw meat with warm/hot (preferred) or cold soapy running water by rubbing hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Also wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot (preferred), soapy water and clean up any spills right away. The mechanical action of vigorous rubbing of hands and utensils/surfaces creates friction that helps to dislodge bacteria and viruses from hands and surfaces. Additionally, warm/hot water helps to dissolve fats/foods, aiding in cleaning/microbe removal and can also assist in deactivation of pathogens. For more information on hand washing, go to http://www.cdc.gov/
handwashing
.

If soapy water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations. However, sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs, including viruses. Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be thoroughly cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, and their juices and thoroughly cooked foods. Thoroughly cook ground meat such as beef to an internal temperature of 160° F, as measured with a food thermometer, before eating. Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase (one hour if temperatures exceed 90° F). Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.
by XL Foods, the Agency is using this public health alert to make the public aware that these products are considered adulterated and should be returned to the place of purchase or destroyed. Products subject to the recall include, but are not limited to, steaks, roasts, mechanically tenderized steaks and roasts, and ground beef.

Previously, FSIS reported that approximately 890,000 pounds of boneless beef trim were received by U.S. firms from XL Foods, Inc. After conducting effectiveness checks, FSIS now estimates that approximately 1.1 million pounds of trim and approximately 1.4 million pounds of primal and sub-primal cuts used to produce steaks, roasts, mechanically tenderized steaks and roasts, and ground beef were received by U.S. firms. Information for consumers and the current retail distribution list are posted on FSIS' website at www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp .

Information for Industry

FSIS has reason to believe, based on information provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), that beef from cattle slaughtered during the period associated with the recall was produced under insanitary conditions that resulted in a high event period (a period when the trim from carcasses exhibited an unusually high frequency of positive findings for the possible presence of E. coli O157:H7). Therefore, all products produced on the affected dates are considered adulterated and must be either destroyed or verified as having received a full lethality treatment.

CFIA is overseeing the effectiveness of the recall in Canada and FSIS is overseeing the effectiveness in the United States. FSIS continues to verify that all receivers of affected beef from the Canadian-initiated recall have been notified and have removed product from commerce, and will take appropriate action if prohibited activity is found. FSIS will update the retail consignee list as FSIS verifies information received during the recall effectiveness verification process.

FSIS testing of raw boneless beef trim product from Canadian Establishment 038, XL Foods, Inc., confirmed positive for E. coli O157:H7 on September 3, 2012. After alerting the CFIA of the positive results, the agencies launched an investigation including additional testing, and CFIA announced a recall by XL Foods, Inc. of a variety of ground beef products on Sept. 16. FSIS also issued a Public Health Alert (PHA) on September 20, 2012, provided updated information on September 21 and September 26, 2012. Today, the CFIA notified FSIS that XL Foods is recalling all product produced on August 24, 27, 28, 29 and September 5. Today's Public Health Alert applies to all beef and beef products produced by Canadian Establishment 038, XL Foods, Inc. on these dates.

GENERAL INFORMATION

FSIS issues Public Health Alerts to make the public aware of a public health hazard. FSIS is not announcing a recall at this time because the goal of such an action is to have the establishment most directly associated with producing adulterated product remove the product from commerce. In this case, the establishment was XL Foods, Inc., a Canadian firm, and that recall has been initiated in Canada.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160° F. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
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Last Modified Jul 22, 2013