09/28/2012 04:42 EDT | Updated 11/28/2012 05:12 EST

XL Foods' Beef E. Coli Recall: Alberta Plant May Reopen Next Week, Say Cattlemen

EDMONTON - The Canadian Cattlemen's Association says it's possible federal regulators will clear the XL Foods beef plant in southern Alberta to resume operating by next week.

Dennis Laycraft, the association's executive vice-president, says officials are working hard to fix problems involving E. coli at the plant in Brooks.

He says once it reopens the challenge will be to get the key U.S. market to accept beef exports from the plant again.

Alberta Agriculture Minister Verlyn Olson says he wants federal food safety officials and XL Foods to fix whatever problems forced the closure of the plant as soon as possible.

Olson says there will be plenty of time to review what went wrong after it reopens.

Laycraft says the XL Foods processes about 35 per cent of all the beef slaughtered in Canada.

"We are hopeful it will be up and running next week, as far as processing in Canada. That will be the first step toward being relisted in the United States," Laycraft said Friday from Calgary.

"But it is difficult to get a feel how long that particular process will take."

Alberta Beef Recall 2012 Timeline

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