BROOKS, Alta. - Trouble continues for an Alberta meat plant as it tries to resume normal processing under the watchful eye of federal food safety inspectors.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says on its website that its staff observed a number of problems last week at XL Foods.

They included meat areas that weren't adequately cleaned and water sanitizer that wasn't maintained at a high enough temperature.

It says inspectors also noted there was condensation on pipes as well as no sanitizing chemical in mats used for cleaning employees' boots.

The CFIA says it ordered the plant's managers to take corrective action, which included sending potentially-contaminated meat for rendering.

The plant in Brooks was closed Sept. 27 due to E. coli contaminated meat that led to a massive recall.

Workers began slaughtering cattle Oct. 29 at the plant but there has been no word yet on when the beef can be sold to retailers or consumers.

"Over the course of the first week of operations, the CFIA determined that the establishment's overall food safety controls were being effectively managed," the agency says on its website.

"As would be expected in a facility that has not been in regular operation for some time, there have been some observations made by CFIA that resulted in the CFIA issuing new Corrective Action Requests to XL Foods Inc.. since the plant reopened."

The agency says it also requested the company submit corrective action plans outlining how they will address the issues in the longer term and mitigate future risks.

The CFIA says it is still waiting on lab results from tests that it and the company did on product from the plant before allowing XL Foods to sell trim and ground beef from the plant.

The total number of illnesses linked to the outbreak stands at 17.

Management of the plant has been taken over by JBS USA, an American subsidiary of a Brazilian company.

The US Food Safety and Inspection Service visited the plant on November 2, 2012 and conducted its own audit. The CFIA says those audit findings will be released by the US at a later date.

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  • Cook all ground beef and hamburger thoroughly. Also remember to check to make sure the meat isn't pink inside, since ground beef can turn brown on the outside before disease-causing bacteria are killed. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the thickest part of the meat are cooked to at least 160 degrees F. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com

  • <span style="text-decoration:underline;"></span>If a restaurant serves undercooked meat send it back to be cooked thoroughly. About.com recommends asking for a new bun and clean plate too. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com

  • Ensure your kitchen is kept clean to prevent spread of bacteria. Always keep raw meat separate from ready-to-eat food and wash hands, counters, thermometers, and utensils frequently. Also NEVER place cooked meat back on a plate that you kept the raw meat on. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com

  • Drink only pasteurized milk, juice, or cider. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com

  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com

  • Drink water that has been treated with chlorine or other effective disinfectants. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com

  • Avoid swallowing lake or pool water when swimming. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com

  • People suffering from diarrhea, especially children, should use extreme caution. Wash hands with soap (and after changing diapers) and avoid swimming in public places, sharing baths or preparing food for others. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com