Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut October 03, 2012 - 8:58 am

Check out your beef: GN

Meat sold in Nunavut also included in Canada-wide beef recall from Alberta meat plant

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Ground beef pours out of a machine at meat processing facility in the United States. Improperly handled beef can lead to contamination with the E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria, which causes hamburger disease. (FILE PHOTO)
Ground beef pours out of a machine at meat processing facility in the United States. Improperly handled beef can lead to contamination with the E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria, which causes hamburger disease. (FILE PHOTO)

Nunavut’s Department of Health and Social Services is urging people across the territory who purchased beef products, including beef shipped from the south, on or after this past Aug. 24, to check their freezers or fridges for beef products now included in large recall of beef products possibly contaminated with E. coli from an Alberta meat plant.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency temporarily suspended XL Foods’ operating licencing after nine Alberta residents became sick with symptoms of E. coli 0157:H7 contamination, or hamburger disease.

Some of the meat products have reached Nunavut, said the Oct. 3 Government of Nunavut news release.

Environmental health officers from the GN have contacted all Nunavut food retailers and restaurants to determine if any of the beef products were received, and to confirm that they have all been removed from shelves and destroyed.

The North West Co, operator of numerous Northern and Northmart retail stores across the three territories, including Nunavut, and communities in the northern regions of provinces, said Sept. 29 that it had removed from sale all products manufactured at the XL Foods Inc. plant in Brooks, Alta.

You can contact your retailer to determine if you have purchased any of the recalled product, the GN said.

You can also call your regional environmental health officer at 867-975-4800 (Baffin), 867-645-8372 (Kivalliq) and 867-982-7610 (Kitikmeot).

And the GN also suggests check the CFIA website for ongoing updates to the list of affected products.

The symptoms of E. coli infection, also known as hamburger disease, include bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and headaches, with little or no fever.

In patients with weak immune systems, such as young children, hamburger disease can lead to permanently damaged kidneys and sometimes death.

E. coli is a bacteria that occurs naturally in the bowels of cattle. When beef is mishandled at slaughter houses and meat-packing plants, the bacteria can be transferred to meat products.

Cooking meat all the way through at a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit can kill the bacteria. Consumers are urged to wash their hands and clean all food utensils and work areas after handling raw beef and beef patties.

The CFIA advises that anyone in doubt about any beef they may have purchased recently should throw it out.

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