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Statement: Butcher's Choice Garlic Peppercorn Beef Burgers Recall

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec 13, 2012) - On December 13, 2012, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in collaboration with Loblaw Companies Ltd., issued a health hazard alert, warning the public not to consume certain Butcher''s Choice Garlic Peppercorn Beef Burgers produced at Establishment 752, Cardinal Meat Specialists Limited. The company has initiated this recall because the products may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

On December 5, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) notified the CFIA of a small cluster of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in Ontario and Alberta potentially linked to a food source - Butcher''s Choice Garlic Peppercorn Beef Burgers made by Cardinal Meat Specialists Limited. Based on this information, the CFIA immediately launched a food safety investigation, which included extensive testing of retail samples from across the country. Preliminary results from CFIA testing identified two presumptive positives for E. coli O157:H7 in one lot of frozen hamburgers.

There is a possibility that additional products could be identified through ongoing testing and investigation. As a result, this recall could expand. Any new information, including all product and distribution information confirmed to date, can be found on the CFIA website at www.inspection.gc.ca/recalls.

The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation at Establishment 752 and gathering information related to production to assess how and where contamination may have occurred. An initial review of inspection reports and company documentation has not identified any issues with the facility''s E. coli O157:H7 control measures and currently has no outstanding corrective action requests. The Agency will take immediate action in response to any issues of concern at the establishment.

There are different triggers that may lead to a food recall. These can include:

  • consumer complaints;
  • CFIA inspections and testing;
  • information from other government departments;
  • reports from international partners; and
  • testing initiated by companies.

Recalls are sometimes initiated as a result of a food borne illness investigation conducted by provincial and/or territorial public health officials. This investigation includes interviewing people who have become sick and conducting laboratory testing. If the investigation determines that a food is linked to the illnesses, the CFIA moves quickly to identify any potentially unsafe food and to ensure that it is effectively removed from the marketplace.