Saskatchewan E. coli not linked to beef from XL Foods, says Ritz

EDMONTON – Canada’s agriculture minister says 13 cases of E. coli reported in Saskatchewan are not linked to the Alberta plant involved in a massive beef recall.

Gerry Ritz says these people don’t have the same strain of E. coli as 11 other Canadians who have gotten sick from meat that is linked to XL Foods Inc.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency staff are in the XL plant in Brooks, Alta., today for a “pre-inspection” to see if the company has fixed problems that forced its closure on Sept. 27.

Those problems included the management of E. coli risk, maintenance and sanitation.

Ritz says the pre-inspection is only the first of a multi-stage process the company must go through before it will be allowed to resume operating and no date has been set for it to reopen.

More than 1,800 XL Foods products have been recalled across Canada, along with more than 1.1 million kilograms of beef that was exported to the U.S. and 20 other countries.