BROOKS, Alta. - A company that took over a southern Alberta beef plant during a tainted beef crisis has appointed a president for its Canadian operations.

William Van Solkema will head JBS Canada effectively immediately.

Van Solkema was the president of sales and operation for XL Foods in Brooks, Alta., between 2004 and 2009.

He most recently served as a consultant for XL Fine Foods, the company's value-added processing business.

The XL Foods Lakeside packing plant was shut down for about a month this fall when E. coli was found in beef processed there.

The discovery led to an extensive recall of products in Canada, the United States and around the world and 18 people became sick from eating meat linked to the plant.