ALBERTA

Rick Mercer Rant On XL Foods Beef Recall (VIDEO)

10/10/2012 03:29 EDT | Updated 10/10/2012 04:04 EDT

It was only a matter of time before the XL Foods recall got so big that Rick Mercer would call the Alberta beef processor out.

The beef recall, which now spans across Canada, into most of the United States and across the Pacific into Hong Kong, met with a scathing rant from the host of the Rick Mercer Report on Tuesday, in which he highlighted the insurmountable task faced by the meat inspectors trying to maintain food safety in the plant.

“How is it possible that one plant is responsible for a third of the beef products in a country of 35 million people?” said Mercer on Tuesday’s rant.

“Every day 5000 cows go in one door and come out the other door on Styrofoam trays. But don't worry, there are 40 meat inspectors working two shifts; which means they have to inspect three-and-a-half cows every sixty seconds. So, no blinking!”

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XL Foods Recall Rant (TWITTER reaction)

It’s not just the fact the odds seem stacked against the food inspectors but that Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz seems okay with the set up, Mercer said

But it’s what Mercer referred to as the secrecy that surrounds XL Foods that most concerned the CBC commentator.

“Who the hell are XL Foods? If you go to their website you will see that they are a company that is, 'built on trust and a firm handshake.' Past that, it’s all a mystery. It’s all pictures of cows grazing in meadows. It’s like a website for a spa,” Mercer rants.

“They’re like a secret society. It took weeks for people to figure out who owned the company.. This is not a meat recall, this is a wake up call. The entire system is designed to keep us in the dark and if we let it stay that way – we're cooked.”

Complete coverage on the ongoing XL Foods beef recall.

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Alberta Beef Recall 2012 Timeline