Lessons from the Largest Meat Recall in Canadian History

(Webinar length:  1h 34m)

Overview:

On September 4, 2012 the FSIS and CFIA simultaneously detected Escherichia coli O157:H7 in beef processed at the XL Foods plant located in Alberta, Canada. The contaminated beef batches initiated a chain reaction of events that resulted in the largest product recall in Canadian history, closure of Canada’s second largest meat processing plant and an emergency debate in the House of Commons.  Ordinarily, the finding of an E coli O157 positive beef sample may not raise any great alarms and may not result in a product recall.  However, the XL Foods affair revealed major deficiencies in the food safety system from how the plant was operated and inspected through how consumers handle and cook beef.  Although the incident occurred in Canada, the events sent ripples of concern throughout the North American beef sector and will have implications for how plants are operated and inspected in the future.

This webinar will examine the time line of events in the XL Foods affair and describe how events spiraled out of control. The mistakes made by the company and deficiencies in the CFIA inspection will be covered along with the poor communication strategy taken by the CEO and the Canadian government. The lessons learned from the XL Foods incident will be discussed in detail, and the implications as to how companies operate and are inspected in the future will be described.

Areas covered in the webinar:

  • Description of E. coli O157:H7 and prevalence in beef
  • Outline of beef processing operations: risks associated with trim, ground beef and tenderized steaks
  • Interventions to minimize carriage of E coli O157 on beef
  • Review of product recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks linked to contaminated beef
  • Timeline of the XL Foods beef recall form company, CFIA, media and consumer prospective
  • What went wrong at the plant level, handling of the recall and public communication
  • Lessons to be learned from the XL Foods incident: Establishing a Food Safety Culture; Role of Federal Meat Inspection and more effective risk communication

Who will benefit from this webinar:

  • QA & QC Managers
  • Meat Plant Production Managers
  • Laboratory Managers
  • Meat stakeholder associations
  • Government policy makers
  • Diagnostic developers
  • Academics
  • Risk Assessment Managers
  • Food Safety communicators
  • HACCP Coordinators

Presenter--Dr. Keith Warriner


Dr. Keith Warriner

Dr. Keith Warriner is currently an Associate Professor within the Department of Food Science at University of Guelph, Canada. Dr. Warriner received his BSc in Food Science from the University of Nottingham, UK and PhD in Microbial Physiology from the University College of Wales Aberystwyth, UK. He later went on to work on biosensors within the University of Manchester, UK and subsequently returned to the University of Nottingham to become a Research Fellow in Food Microbiology. He joined the Faculty of the University of Guelph in 2002. During the last fifteen years in the field of microbiology and food safety research, Dr. Warriner has published more than 100 papers, book chapters, patents, and conference abstracts. He has broad research areas encompassing development of decontamination technologies, biosensors for biohazard detection, and more fundamental research on the interaction of human pathogens with plants. He developed a decontamination treatment for sanitizing seeds and inactivating pathogens on fresh produce and is currently developing other biocontrol strategies.

  • Item #: 1107cMeatRecall
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