Another E. coli Threat Recalls Frozen Hamburgers

The Grocery chain Loblaw Companies has recalled two products of frozen beef due to a possible threat of E. coli bacteria contamination. The suspicious products were identified to be the Butcher’s Choice Hickory Barbecue Beef Burgers, which are labeled with best-before dates of Feb. 1 and Feb. 10. Previously, the company requested recall of a Butcher’s Choice Garlic Peppercorn Beef Burgers, which had a best-before date of March 3.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has stated that it is closely observing the recalls, provoked by four cases of possible E. coli infection. It was announced by the Public Health officials that they have timely informed the CFIA last week, alerting them about the E. coli cases and their possible connection with a food source, prompting investigation into the meat. So far, there has been no case, of the E. coli strain to have caused any case of illnesses anywhere. Officials allege to be inspecting Cardinal Meat Specialist Ltd., i.e. the facility where the burgers were produced. It was stated by a food safety recall specialist, Garfield Balsom, on Thursday that “an initial review of inspection reports and company documentation has not identified any issues with the facility’s E. coli O157 control measures and the company currently has no outstanding corrective action requests.”

The Chief Science Officer at the Public Health Agency of Canada’s national microbiology laboratory, Dr. Frank Plummer, also stated that “there is good evidence these four cases are linked to some kind of common source, (but) we don’t yet know what that common source.” He claimed that “possibly the hamburgers, but we’re not sure at this point.”

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