ALBERTA

Walmart, Safeway Beef Recall: E. Coli Fears Prompt Alert In 30 States After Contamination At Alberta Plant

09/27/2012 05:33 EDT | Updated 11/27/2012 05:12 EST
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UPDATE: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has temporarily suspended XL Foods' licence.

EDMONTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended its public health alert about beef from an Alberta plant to stores in 30 states, including retail giant Walmart.

The alert means XL Foods Inc. is voluntarily recalling beef products from these stores over concerns about possible E. coli contamination.

The U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) says it is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall, which before Thursday covered eight states.

XL Foods officials were not immediately available for comment.

Along with Walmart, the retail chains involved in the XL Foods recall in the U.S. include Safeway, Kroger, Jay C, FoodsCo., Food4Less, Albertson's and Sam's Club.

Canada revoked the plant's permit to export beef to the U.S. on Sept. 13 at the request of the U.S.D.A.

Since Sept. 16, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued at least eight recall alerts for XL Foods Inc. ground beef products from its plant in Brooks, Alta., over E. coli concerns.

Two Alberta companies supplied by XL Foods, Reddi Food Solutions Inc. and Freson Bros., were added to the recall list Thursday.

There are no reported cases of people getting sick from eating the ground beef.

The FSIS said in a news release issued Wednesday that whole cuts of beef were produced at the XL Foods plant on the same production dates as the suspected tainted ground beef.

The meat cuts were used by a U.S. manufacturer to make other food products, which have not been identified.

Also Wednesday, Alberta Health Service officials announced that four people in Edmonton got sick from E. coli after eating Kirkland brand strip loin steaks purchased at a Costco outlet in Edmonton.

The CFIA said the meat the steaks were made from came from the XL Foods plant, but health officials aren't sure if the E. coli was on the product or if it came from a metal meat tenderizing machine used at the Costco store.

The store has said it would no longer use the tenderizing machine.

E. coli O157:H7 is potentially deadly. Health officials say it can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure.

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