Safety concerns halt operations at Canada meat plant

November 27, 2012 in Food Safety, Nutrition Topics in the News

Safety concerns halt operations at Canada meat plant

Canadian food inspectors said, on Friday November 23, they have suspended operations at a meat-processing plant in Edmonton, Alberta, for failing to properly track its deliveries after detecting the Listeria bacteria on an employee.

The incident comes just a month after a major health scare in Canada over tainted beef at another meat plant in the province.

Capital Packers Inc. detected the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes -- which can cause fever, nausea and even meningitis in infected people -- on a worker's sleeve and on Monday notified the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

While such a finding is routine and there is no evidence that any food was contaminated, the CFIA suspended the company's license as a precautionary measure after finding it was unable to properly track the whereabouts of its products.

Initially, the company told the CFIA that the potentially affected products were under its control. The CFIA's own investigation determined that they may, in fact, have been delivered to several provinces.

In September, the XL Foods meat plant in Alberta was shut down for about a month after it produced millions of pounds of beef tainted with the E. coli bacteria that sickened at least 16 people in Canada.

Capital Packers makes bacon, sausages, fresh meats and other products and sells them in Western Canada and the Northwest Territories. The company has voluntary recalled ham sausages under the brand names Capital and Compliments (Sobey's).

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