More than 30 different cuts of beef have been recalled from Dominion stores in Newfoundland and Labrador, as part of the ongoing XL Foods recall because of suspected E.coli contamination.
An equally long list of beef cuts from Save Easy, Co-op, ValuFoods and Village Mart stores are also in the latest update from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
The recall has been expanded from initially just ground beef to steaks, roasts, fast-fry strips and stewing beef cubes. The latest list refers to best before dates from Sept. 6 to Oct. 2 and packed on dates going back to Aug. 24.
The CFIA says it's aware of four E.coli 0157 illnesses associated with the consumption of beef products originating from XL Foods in Edmonton, Alta.
The agency cautions that food contaminated with E. coli may not look or smell spoiled, but eating the contaminated food can cause serious and potentially life-threatening illness.
Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Some people may have seizures or strokes and some may need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis. Others may live with permanent kidney damage. In severe cases of illness, people may die.
The recall has also affected beef shipments from Canada to the United States. Some estimates indicate about 890,000 pounds of beef shipped to the U.S. is affected.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking credit for alert- ing Canada to the problem in early September.
Its Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) tested raw, boneless beef trim from XL Foods and found the presence of E.coli 0157:H7 on Sept. 3.
The FSIS alerted the CFIA in Canada of the positive results and subsequently the recall was initiated in Canada, first involving production dates in late August.
The U.S. food safety service says it has reason to believe, based on information from the CFIA, that beef from cattle slaughtered during the period associated with the recall was produced under unsanitary conditions.
The CFIA, in recent releases and advisories, indicated it found several deficiencies at the XL Foods plant that contributed to the problem.
For more information, consumers and industry can call the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday.
For information on E. coli O157:H7, visit the Food Facts web page at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/concen/cause/ecolie.shtml.
For information on all food recalls, visit the CFIA's Food Recall Report at http://active.inspection.gc.ca/eng/corp/recarapp_dbe.asp.