XL Foods is dumping beef tainted with E.coli into a landfill in Brooks, Alta.
The company took about 1.3 million pounds of frozen beef to the industrial part of the Newell County landfill, all under the supervision of Canadian Food Inspection Agency officials, over the weekend.
The company is expected to dump more beef on Monday.
The beef product in the boxes is mostly frozen ground beef and trimmings such as heart and tripe, but so far no high quality cuts.
Ray Juska, landfill manager at Newell County, says his crews are putting dirt onto the meat.
“It’s to keep out vectors, primarily seagulls is what we have here, and it’s also a requirement of the CFIA so nobody can go back and help themselves to some off-spec meat,” Juska said,
He's also hoping that his contribution will help the company and its workers get back to work.
We're a waste disposal facility associated with Brooks and area and really what the big issue here, aside from what's happening to Brooks and to XL, is what's happening to the people that it's affected," Juska said. "And it's had a pretty substantial impact and now that a lot workers are laid off and the longer it goes on the greater it's going to be. So, we're really hoping by accepting this material that we're part of the solution”
It's not clear how much beef XL Foods will have to clear from the plant in order to have the CFIA reinstate its license following the recent E.coli outbreak and massive recall of 1,800 products.
Related on HuffPost:
While most strains of E. coli are harmless, the Public Health Agency Of Canada warns that some strains including E. coli O157: H7, can make people sick, and in serious complications can include kidney failure.
Symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and fever that is generally less than 38.5˚C/101˚F and tend to last for five to seven days.
High risk individuals include the very young, elderly, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can be fatal, can develop in around 5 to 10 per cent of those who get sick from E. coli O157:H7 overall and about 15 per cent of young children and the elderly. Symptoms of HUS vary. Some people have seizures or strokes and some need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis. Others live with side effects such as permanent kidney damage.
Proper hygiene including hand washing and safe food handling and preparation practices are recommended to prevent the illness.
While E. coli is generally associated with ground meat, Alberta Health Services warns that the bacteria can also be found in foods including poultry, pork, cheese, sprouts, lettuce, yogurt, and unpasteurized milk and fruit juices and advises Albertans to take precaution.
Hey, the time is good now as any. Drop by at a store that sells local and/or organic meat. Many major retail chains now supply local produce. Or stop by a farmers market. Heck, if you live in Alberta, you could walk (drive) over to the farm and really get to know where your food is coming from.
Beef From Other Plants
There are other major beef producers that thankfully have been spared from the major recalls. Purchase meat from Cargill producers in Alberta perhaps?
Maybe you could treat yourself to some bison if you're missing your medium-rare steak during the recall. Who knows, you may just come back for more!
Dare we say it... producers from around the country (and world) have safe beef for consumption. Maybe its time to look for temporary alternatives to get your steak from. Alberta beef will be back on the market soon anyway.
Beefalo burgers anyone? This could be an opportunity to give these hybrid animals a taste if you've been contemplating trying beefalo for sometime.
Other Meats Like Chicken
You love your beef and it loves you right back, but maybe you can take this opportunity to try out different foods. Now we don't mean tofu, but some butter chicken may be a refreshing addition to your plate.
Fresh halibut? Yes, please.