Canadian food safety authorities today restored the license to resume processing operations at the XL Foods Inc. plant in Brooks, Alberta, less than one week after JBS USA took over management of the idled facility.
The move also comes one day after plant managers began preparations to bring workers back into the facility as soon as next Monday.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) — which closed the facility in late September in the wake of a major E. coli contamination and meat recalls on both sides of the U.S. and Canadian border — reinstated the license under a variety of new conditions.
CIFA officials said the plant will be under enhanced scrutiny with more than 48 inspectors assigned to monitor slaughter procedures. The agency said last week that meat tested at the plant had no traces of E. coli.
Meanwhile, Canada’s CTV Television Network reports that plant managers have told workers that retraining will be available starting tomorrow and shift processing workers are expected to return to the plant Oct. 29 to pick up new IDs and training schedules.
Shift processing workers are expected to arrive the next day to collect their credentials and new work schedules, CTV reports.
The workers are allowed to undergo safety training and other processes, and government officials today also announced the gradual resumption of slaughtering and processing operations at the facility.
XL Foods spent the weekend dumping tainted meat into local landfills and JBS has scheduled meetings with plant workers and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union this week to discuss its plans to get the facility back online.
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