UPDATED: Beef recall expands to Coquitlam stores
If you bought beef in the past couple of weeks, check the product and the best before date and head to your closest computer to get the latest information on a Canada-wide recall of contaminated beef.
On Sunday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency expanded its list of E. coli contaminated products from XL Foods meat packing plant in Brooks, Alta. and many B.C. stores, including a Coquitlam grocer, are affected.
Beef products from Save-On-Foods and Canada Safeway are mentioned on the CFIA list, as well as Thrifty Foods, which sent out a public announcement today informing customers of the recall.
"We take this very seriously," said Ralf Mundel, marketing and communications director for Thrifty Foods.
Ralf said Thrifty's recently purchased a small amount of whole beef cuts from XL Foods to maintain store meat supplies but the stores' usual supplier is Cargill.
All of it was removed from Thrifty Food shelves when the expanded recall was announced and people are encouraged to check the product and best before date to make sure they didn't purchase the recalled items.
In Coquitlam, approximately 20 packages of beef bottom round steaks, beef bottom round roasts and beef hip stewing meat were purchased from XL Foods and thus affected by the recall. However, they were incorrectly labelled as Sterling Silver, the company's premier beef product, Ralf said, so customers should check the label of their meat. The recall includes meat with a best-before date as late as today (Oct. 1) and Oct. 2.
Some of the meat was also sold as ground beef, all should be destroyed, he said, and the proof of purchase, such as a receipt, product label or empty packaging, returned to the store for a refund.
"If they have any of the affected products, we want them to bring back proof of purchase, not the product and we'll refund it no questions asked."
There are no confirmed reports of illness from customers consuming XL Foods beef products purchased from Thrifty Foods.
Other stores that had XL Foods beef on the shelves includes several on Vancouver Island, Tsawwassen, Maple Ridge, Cloverdale, Abbotsford and North Vancouver.
Ralf also apologized for the mislabeling of meat at the Coquitlam store and said the mix-up was unfortunate and failed to meet the company's high standards. Sterling Silver meat is the company's premier brand packaged at Cargill in High River Alberta. It is triple A quality, aged 21 days and customers pay a higher price for this meat, Ralf acknowledged.
Meanwhile, Save-On-Foods, has issued a press release alerting customers to meat currently subject to the CFIA recall. On Saturday, the B.C.-based company told customers that while it doesn't buy its ground beef from XL Foods, it has purchased other beef products from the company that are now affected by the CFIA's expanded recall.
"We are very proud of the facility we work with and the processes they have in place to provide us with a very high standard of food safety which includes extra steps that make the risk of this kind of contamination extremely low for us. However, as a precautionary measure, we are voluntarily initiating a recall of all potentially impacted products and we’ll be replacing removed product with unaffected supply over the next few days," the press release stated.
Find out more about the specific products that have been recalled at www.inspection.gc.ca