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Canada suspends license of food plant linked to tainted beef

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 28 Sep 2012 10:57 GMT
Author: Reuters
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* Canada says operator did not do enough to combat E. coli

* United States had already suspended imports from plant

OTTAWA, Sept 28 (Reuters) - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has suspended the license of a meatpacking plant linked to contaminated beef products, it said on Friday.

The CFIA said the operators of XL Foods' Brooks, Alberta, plant had not done enough to prevent possible contamination by E. coli bacteria.

"All products currently at this plant are under CFIA detention and control," the agency said in a statement. "XL Foods Inc will not resume operations until they have demonstrated that they have fully implemented CFIA's required corrective actions."

The plant - one of the largest in Canada - is one of the suppliers to a store in Edmonton, Alberta, where several people became ill after eating steaks that may have contained E. coli.

The United States halted imports of beef products from the XL Foods plant in Brooks on Sept. 13 after tests discovered the presence of E. coli.

Beginning in early September, privately held XL Foods had voluntarily recalled more than 250 beef products made at the plant after positive findings of E. coli.

E. coli bacteria can cause serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses.

XL Foods says there has been no definitive link between its products and the cases of illness.

Canada is the sixth-largest beef and veal exporter in the world. (Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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