XL Foods spent the weekend carting hundreds of tons of tainted meat to local Alberta, Canada, landfills, as another illness from the E. coli outbreak is confirmed and the plant’s new managers prepare to meet with local union representatives.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is overseeing the delivery of what’s could eventually total more than 660 tons of beef collected as part of the massive recall to a landfill in Brooks, Alberta.
Landfill managers say the bulk of the meat buried so far includes boxes of frozen ground beef and trimmings as deliveries of meat recalled from U.S. and Canadian outlets continue today.
CFIA added that as much as 12 million pounds of meat stored at the Brooks plant and other XL Foods warehouses that aren’t part of the recall may be rendered or cooked at high enough temperatures to kill any E. coli it might contain.
Meanwhile, Canadian inspectors confirmed an additional case of E. coli illness linked to the investigation, bringing the number of cases to 16.
The plant has been closed since Sept. 27 as additional U.S. and Canadian retail outlets responded to the recall and regulators on both sides of the border assess next steps in terms of future inspections and disposal of affected products.
Separately, JBS USA officials are scheduled to meet with XL Foods employees today and with leaders of the United Food and Commercial Workers union tomorrow to discuss its plans for the plant.
JBS took over management of the facility – where about 2,000 workers have been idled – last week.
CIFA officials said it is too early to discuss when the plant might reopen, although local government officials believe the inspection agency may formally approve a return to regular operations sometime this week.
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