OTTAWA - The list of beef products being recalled from Alberta's XL Foods due to possible E. coli contamination grew again early today.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency updated its alert to add dozens of additional products sold across the country to an already lengthy list of recalled beef.
The federal agency cautions the list may still grow as officials track beef from the affected plant to secondary and tertiary distributors, manufacturers and retailers.
The latest alert came just hours after MPs wrapped up an emergency debate in the House of Commons into the government’s handling of the recall.
Opposition MPs have been hammering the government all week over its handling of what’s being billed as the largest food recall in Canadian history.
They claim funding cuts to the CFIA made the problem worse while the government insists it has increased the number of food inspectors and strengthened protections.
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz toured the XL plant in Brooks, Alta., on Wednesday and said the government’s “highest priority” is to keep food safe.
He said that’s why the XL Foods plant will only re-open once the president of the CFIA confirms in writing that the health of Canadians is not at risk.
The recall of ground beef began on Sept. 16 and has since been expanded numerous times since to include more than 1,500 beef products in Canada and the U.S.
In yet another development, a lawsuit has been filed that alleges XL Foods knew it had poor quality control and put profits above consumer safety.
The statement of claim against the meat-packer has not been proven in court and a judge must still determine if it may proceed as a class-action lawsuit.
An Edmonton man who got sick from E. coli after eating a steak on Sept. 5 traced to the plant is named as the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.