(Marketwire) — As part of a rigorous review of Establishment 38, XL Foods Inc., the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will allow the facility to proceed to the next stage in the review process. Beginning today, CFIA officials will monitor the plant's food safety controls in action by allowing the plant to process carcasses under continued strict conditions.
This next step in the CFIA's staged approach will allow CFIA experts to fully assess the facility's E. coli safeguards in action. The plant will not be permitted to resume normal operation until the CFIA confirms in writing that it is safe to do so.
The CFIA review conducted on October 9th determined that all areas of the plant have been cleaned and sanitized. Effective October 11th the plant will be allowed to process carcasses currently present in the facility that have tested negative by the CFIA for E. coli O157:H7. These activities will allow CFIA experts to carefully observe the plant's food safety controls. All operations will take place under specific conditions and enhanced CFIA oversight.
Meat from these carcasses will remain under CFIA detention. Product will not be allowed to leave the premises until the CFIA has confirmed in writing to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food that plant controls are effectively and consistently managing E. coli risks and that the product is safe. The CFIA will immediately halt operations if inspectors note any concerns with the facility's food safety controls.
The CFIA suspended operations at the facility on September 27 after determining that identified concerns were not being addressed in a timely manner. Since that time, CFIA officials have worked closely with plant staff to monitor the implementation of food safety enhancements.
The CFIA's priority continues to be the health and safety of Canadians. CFIA decisions have been, and continue to be, based on scientific evidence and a precautionary approach to protect consumers.
The CFIA will continue to work with federal and provincial public health officials.