Test samples from XL Foods: E. coli free

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says test samples from meat processed during an inspection at a troubled Alberta beef plant are negative for E. coli.

CFIA spokesman Paul Mayers says the agency is now looking at the actual work done during the inspection.

“The CFIA is now reviewing its observations of deboning and cutting activities, specific E. coli controls, meat hygiene, sampling techniques and overall sanitation in the plant,” Mayers said during a teleconference Friday.

“These findings, including a plan for next steps, will be finalized over the weekend.

“We know everyone is eager to have this work completed — and we are certainly moving ahead as quickly as possible — but must remain focused on the need to protect consumers.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada said one more case of E. coli poisoning has been linked to meat from the plant — bringing the total to 16. The person from Quebec became ill in September but is recovering.

More than 1,800 beef products that originated at the Brooks plant have been recalled from dozens of retailers in Canada and the United States since last month.