10/13/2012 05:42 EDT | Updated 10/13/2012 05:50 EDT

XL Foods Announces Temporary Layoff Of 2,000 Employees


XL Foods, the chain behind the biggest beef recall in Canadian history, announced Saturday that it is temporarily laying off 2,000 workers at its Brooks, Alta. plant.

"It is with deep regret we have announced the temporary layoff of 2,000 employees today," said Brian Nilsson, Co-CEO of XL Foods in a release.

Employees have received full pay for the past three weeks, he said, adding that, "We have paid our valued team members out of a commitment to our workforce and to assist them through this difficult time."

The plant is currently working under a temporary license and resumed limited processing.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has not provided a definite timeline for when relicensing will be approved for the plant.

It is this uncertainty that has forced the temporary layoffs, said the release.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed last week that it will be audited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the first time in three years.

Meanwhile, Alberta Premier Alison Redford said that a government program to help beef producers should be enough to get XL Foods through the temporary shutdown.

"We are hopeful that the CFIA will bring this to a swift and viable resolution," Nilsson said.

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