Food inspection agency raises new safety concerns at XL Foods
Published Sunday, November 4, 2012 3:53PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, November 4, 2012 5:41PM EST
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has raised new safety concerns about operations at an Alberta beef processing plant that recently resumed slaughter operations.
CFIA inspectors have been closely monitoring operations at XL Foods, which was shut down after E. coli was discovered by meat inspectors last month.
Although inspectors said they found that the overall food safety controls at the plant “were being effectively managed,” they made some observations that have prompted the agency to issue “new corrective action requests,” according to a statement.
The observations included condensation on pipes in the tripe room; water in a sanitizer not maintained at a high temperature; meat cutting areas not adequately cleaned; and no sanitizing chemical solution in the mats used for cleaning employees' boots.
The facility, located in Brooks, Alta., had its operating license suspended amid the E. coli scare. The plant was linked to 17 cases of illness across the country.
On Oct. 23, the plant was given the go-ahead to resume operations under enhanced CFIA surveillance after the agency said it was confident that all issues had been fully addressed.
According to the CFIA’s latest release, the recent safety issues are to be expected “in a facility that has not been in regular operation for some time.”
The agency instructed plant management to take corrective measures, including sending potentially contaminated product for rendering; cleaning and sanitizing the meat cutting area; and supplying boot mats with sanitizer.
As well, the CFIA called on the plant to submit corrective action plans detailing how it will address the concerns in the longer term.
“The company submitted a corrective action plan and appropriate measures were implemented immediately,” the statement said.
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