09/18/2012 07:32 EDT | Updated 11/18/2012 05:12 EST

Ground beef recall expanded in Quebec

A national recall of ground beef because of possible E. coli contamination has been expanded in Quebec.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Tuesday that more stores than originally announced might have sold ground beef from XL Foods of Alberta.

It said the meat was in Metro stores in Quebec and Ontario, as well as Loblaws outlets in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. and Sobey's or IGA locations in every province. Foodland stores in Ontario and Atlantic Canada also carried the ground beef.

The agency initially said the beef was sold under the Kirkland Signature brand, which is carried by Costco stores across Canada, as well as Safeway stores in Ontario and Western Canada and Walmart outlets countrywide.

Garfield Balsom, a CFIA food safety and recall specialist, said an investigation is underway to determine how the beef may have been contaminated.

Check other stores, too

Balsom said products from other retailers should be checked because smaller stores may have bought items wholesale from larger retailers such as Costco and repackaged them.

"There are maybe situations where somebody has removed the label or there's some secondary distribution of the product, and hopefully if the consumer has the product and they are not sure, they can go back to the store," he said. "Our advice is to return to their point of sale and inquire whether that product is part of the recall.

"The last advice is, if you're not sure then don't eat it."

The recalled products include ground beef, burger patties, ground chuck, ground sirloin patties, stuffed peppers, meatballs, beef sliders, meatloaf, cheddar cheese patties and ground beef tubes. The products were packed between Aug. 29 and Sept. 15, and could have "best before" or "freeze by" dates from Sept. 9 to Sept 23.

The CFIA says there have been no reported illnesses but has a complete list of the products on its website.

The meat may have been contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and might not look or smell spoiled, according to the CFIA. Consumption of beef contaminated with the bacteria can cause serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses.