CFIA widens burger recall from Saskatoon plant

An E. coli-related recall of ground beef from a shuttered Saskatoon burger processing plant has been widened to over 135 products made between last July and mid-February this year.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency on Monday rolled out an expanded list of products including retail brands such as PC, Western Family, Best Value, Calgary Stampede, Country Morning, Grillhouse, Keg and Irresistibles, plus Grillhouse and other brands distributed to hotels, restaurants and institutions.

The affected products’ packages, cartons and cases are all marked with the processing plant’s establishment number, 761, belonging to the New Food Classics plant in Saskatoon.

The products can also be identified through their codes: a Best Before date from BB 2012 JA 01 up to and including to BB 2013 FE 15; a production code with a format of 11 JL 01 up to and including 12 FE 15; and/or a five-digit lot code where the last four digits are 1831 or greater.

The products being recalled and subject to the CFIA’s public warning may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, which is reported to have sickened one person who ate one of the burgers from the facility.

The CFIA’s alerts on burgers from Establishment 761 date back to Feb. 18, when the lone case of illness was reported. At that time, a few lots of Country Morning beef burgers and Loblaws’ "no name" beef steakettes were subject to a voluntary recall.

CFIA said it’s working with "all retailers and distributors" to pull back all affected products from the market and is "monitoring the effectiveness" of the recall.

Patty stackers

New Food Classics, based at Burlington, Ont. with plants at St. Catharines and Saskatoon, fell into receivership in February and both plants are now closed.

Its receiver, FTI Consulting, said the company cited its inability to pass on rising beef, fuel and electricity costs, due to the 12-month fixed-price contracts it signed with customers.

FTI had said at the time it hoped a buyer could be found to take over the facilities on a turn-key basis, rather than liquidate their assets piece by piece.

But the receiver on March 12 picked up approval from an Ontario Superior Court judge in Toronto to sell a batch of NFC’s processing equipment to Cambridge, Ont. meat packer Grand River Foods.

The items to be sold, for a still-undisclosed sum, included burger patty forming machines, patty stacker units, fill plates, X-ray machines, metal detectors, cartoning equipment and other gear.

Related story:
Burger processor in receivership, Feb. 28, 2012

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