Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

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Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby Triangle_Man » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:14 pm UTC

If you live in Canada and you like meat, this story should be of interest to you...

The recall of meat products from a processing plant in Alberta due to possible E. coli contamination has been expanded again.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Tuesday has now recalled more than 1,500 beef products in Canada from the XL Foods meat processing plant in Brooks, Alta. The expanded recall list now includes cuts of steaks and roasts, stewing beef and beef breakfast sausage, and it covers every province and territory.

The public, distributors and food service establishments are being told not to consume, sell, or serve the meat. The products in question were manufactured at the XL Foods plant on Aug. 24, 27, 28, 29 and Sept. 5.


Thoughts?
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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby sardia » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:16 pm UTC

? I dunno. It only reconfirms my belief that proper oversight and good cleanliness is a good way to prevent outbreaks. But I believed that before the article came out, so I dunno what's your point.

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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby Triangle_Man » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:30 pm UTC

It's more that it's another example of this sort of thing.

Plus, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. There was an outbreak of Listeria among meat from brands such as Maple Leaf Foods and Schneider's (among other brands) which has apparently led to 9 confirmed deaths and 11 suspected deaths too date. This was due in part to poor inspection policies...

At the Maple Leaf plant behind the Listeria outbreak, a single federal inspector was relegated to auditing company paperwork and had to deal with several other plants, the manager and the union official said, contradicting the impression that officials had left last week that full-time watchdogs were on-site. Under the new system, federal inspectors do random product tests only three or four times a year at any given plant, and meat packers are required to test each type of product only once a month. Under the old system, inspectors had a more hands-on role on the plant floor, did more of the tests themselves and had more freedom to investigate, said former CFIA inspector.


The Prime Minister's Response to this?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper rejected any suggestions that the federal government is not doing enough. The Conservative government's changes are the subject of heated controversy as academics and the opposition express concerns over the few details that have emerged so far. The 2008 budget indicated the CFIA was asked to find savings to pay for new programs. The leaked document indicated savings would be found by transferring some meat-inspection duties to industry.


It's sort of a big deal, you know?
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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:39 pm UTC

Does this represent a statistical trend in recalls or people harmed? That might indicate a problem.

This sort of thing happens from time to time here in the US...and while it's unfortunate for some of the businesses involved, the main thing is really them catching it before too many people get sick. The 13 reported cases does not seem like an immense impact of people being sickened before the recall took place.

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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby nitePhyyre » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:03 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:This sort of thing happens from time to time here in the US...and while it's unfortunate for some of the businesses involved, the main thing is really them catching it before too many people get sick. The 13 reported cases does not seem like an immense impact of people being sickened before the recall took place.
13 people sick? Who cares! Those poor, poor, businesses, though very unfortunate.
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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby lutzj » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:02 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:This sort of thing happens from time to time here in the US...and while it's unfortunate for some of the businesses involved, the main thing is really them catching it before too many people get sick. The 13 reported cases does not seem like an immense impact of people being sickened before the recall took place.
13 people sick? Who cares! Those poor, poor, businesses, though very unfortunate.
R U 4 SRS?!?!


If companies have to recall and lose millions of dollars, not to mention all the extra work and inconvenience, but only a few people get sick, then, yeah, it seems that the businesses are bearing the brunt of the cost, especially since they usually are held liable for those sicknesses as well. Which is fine, because they're the ones who caused the problem, but still unfortunate.
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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:28 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:This sort of thing happens from time to time here in the US...and while it's unfortunate for some of the businesses involved, the main thing is really them catching it before too many people get sick. The 13 reported cases does not seem like an immense impact of people being sickened before the recall took place.
13 people sick? Who cares! Those poor, poor, businesses, though very unfortunate.
R U 4 SRS?!?!


OP implied that this is a significant event that the political leadership may have to be called to account for. I was merely questioning the historical significance of this event in that light.

Also, good work on translating "the main thing is really them catching it before too many people get sick" into "13 people sick? Who cares!". :roll:

lutzj wrote:If companies have to recall and lose millions of dollars, not to mention all the extra work and inconvenience, but only a few people get sick, then, yeah, it seems that the businesses are bearing the brunt of the cost, especially since they usually are held liable for those sicknesses as well. Which is fine, because they're the ones who caused the problem, but still unfortunate.


I'm actually not worried about the responsible ones...more thinking of the loss of business to places like restaurants that now suddenly have a lack of supplies. Not their fault, but they likely still hurt a bit.

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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby Triangle_Man » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:42 pm UTC

Yeah, I was probably over-blowing it a bit and kind of wanted to share something.

That being said, it's sort of becoming a major issue up here. This whole thing could really just be an inevitable mistake, although I'm also uncertain if 46 Inspectors is the optimal number...

And if it isn't a big deal right now, the media will probably make it a big deal.

How does quality control work at these sorts of plants, anyways?
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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby nitePhyyre » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:26 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:OP implied that this is a significant event that the political leadership may have to be called to account for. I was merely questioning the historical significance of this event in that light.
In that light, it should be noted that this recall affects over 1/3 of all beef in canada.

And, at the very least, the official opposition is kicking up a storm about it. Form an email I just got from the NDP:
My fellow New Democrat,

Can you believe it?

One-third of all Canadian beef has been pulled from the shelves.

Over twenty Canadians are sick.

We’re facing the largest beef recall in Canadian history.

And Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz hasn’t shown up for work.
Emphasis mine.
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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby Chen » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:51 pm UTC

Wasn't he doing interviews just the other day?

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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby nitePhyyre » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:34 pm UTC

Maybe, the NDP don't consider that work?
sourmìlk wrote:Monopolies are not when a single company controls the market for a single product.

You don't become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard you become great in the process.

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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby Triangle_Man » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:46 pm UTC

Is that 'showing up for work' line 100% rhetoric, or does it have some truth/logic behind it?
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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:56 pm UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:Is that 'showing up for work' line 100% rhetoric, or does it have some truth/logic behind it?


Not entirely false...

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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:53 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
Triangle_Man wrote:Is that 'showing up for work' line 100% rhetoric, or does it have some truth/logic behind it?


Not entirely false...

Wait, the Star Phoenix? Do you live here too, or is that just the first source you found?
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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:44 pm UTC

“The medical literature on the causes of food poisoning is full of euphemisms and dry scientific terms: coliform levels, aerobic plate counts, sorbitol, MacConkey agar, and so on. Behind them lies a simple explanation for why eating a hamburger can now make you seriously ill: There is shit in the meat.”
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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby sardia » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:52 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:“The medical literature on the causes of food poisoning is full of euphemisms and dry scientific terms: coliform levels, aerobic plate counts, sorbitol, MacConkey agar, and so on. Behind them lies a simple explanation for why eating a hamburger can now make you seriously ill: There is shit in the meat.”
― Eric Schlosser

Stop feeding cows corn. It kills people.

That's too simplistic, there's shit everywhere, and you ingest it all the time. The general causes of infection is consuming high amounts of fecal matter and spittle. The solutions are many, and include ingesting less of it, proper cleaning, cook times, temperature control, and avoiding cross contamination.
For example, there may be plenty of shit and spittle in a Mcdonald's hamburger, but you'll never get sick from the bacteria because they cook the hell out of it. The bacteria levels are all based on exponential curves. Exposure of food to x temperature for y time causes z doubling of bacteria. This can be a negative number which halves the bacteria count. Generally, high temperature and radiation kills bacteria, not cold temperatures such as fridge or freezers. They merely halt or slow bacterial growth.

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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:23 pm UTC

It's also a question of which bacteria you're consuming. Grass-fed cows, which we've been eating forever, have a neutral pH in their rumens, so the bugs there tend to die when they hit our acid filled stomachs. Corn-fed cows, which are a big fuck you to evolution but slightly cheaper, have an acidic pH which helps train their gut bacteria to survive in an acidic environment.

So really by feeding cows government-subsidized corn, we've been training E. Coli to bypass our best defense against eating contaminated meat.

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Re: Meat Recalled in Canada over E. Coli Contamination

Postby stevey_frac » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:38 pm UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:Yeah, I was probably over-blowing it a bit and kind of wanted to share something.

That being said, it's sort of becoming a major issue up here. This whole thing could really just be an inevitable mistake, although I'm also uncertain if 46 Inspectors is the optimal number...

And if it isn't a big deal right now, the media will probably make it a big deal.

How does quality control work at these sorts of plants, anyways?


Where did you get 47 inspectors from? The CFIA has thousands of inspectors, which include hundreds for meat inspections.

Also, but not directly in response to the quoted post:

Under the current federal government, the number of inspectors and CFIA staff has increased roughly in line with the previous liberal government. The slight decrease in 2012, is not unlike the decrease in 1998. I dislike two things about this whole scandal:

1) That vegetarians are taking this and saying, 'See, meat will kill you' whilst ignoring the numerous listeria outbreaks that happen every year.
2) That the NDP are blaming the government for the outbreak, because of recent, relatively mild cuts, especially since no inspectors have actually been cut at this point. Not that I really expect anything different from the official opposition than to blame everything on the current government. But... It still annoys me.

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