Workers are processing beef at the XL Foods plant in Brooks, Alta. for the first time in a month.
The plant’s first shift of workers arrived Monday morning under the watchful eye of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and JBS, the plant’s new manager. Empty cattle liners left the plant, a sign that slaughtering has resumed.
CBC Calgary's Meghan Grant said workers told her the new rules will be strictly enforced with a zero-tolerance policy.
"I spoke with a couple of employees after they were getting off shift and it sounds like aside from getting back to slaughtering the animals, today was also about educating the staff about new sanitary standards inside the plant. Employees trained on how to wash their hands, there was new rules in place [such as] no fake fingernails or nail polish."
Inside the plant there are 46 CFIA inspectors on site, she said.
Brooks Mayor Martin Shields said JBS, which has already donated $20,000 to the local food bank, seems to be great new neighbour.
“[They] will make such a difference to the two thousand plus people in our community who now can look more positively on their lives. They’ve come to this community to start a new life, many of them, so this is such a positive for our community.”
The XL Foods plant’s licence was suspended on Sept. 27 because of concerns about E. coli contamination and deficiencies identified by CFIA at the facility. More than 2,000 products from the plant were recalled, the biggest beef recall in Canadian history.