The E.coli scare at the XL Foods plant in Brooks, Alberta has now reportedly touched the IGA stores in B.C. The news comes after Extra Foods in Squamish and the Nesters Market stores in both Squamish and Whistler were informed potentially tainted meat was shipped to the grocery outlets.
Initial reports indicated the affected IGA stores were located in eastern Canada but the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has updated its information and has reported that beef stew, beef liver and outside round roast products sent to certain B.C. stores has been recalled. The products in question were packed between Aug. 26 and Sept. 28.
The CFIA is recommending that anyone with uncertainty about beef products should avoid eating the products.
The E.coli outbreak at XL Foods solidified Chris Quinlan’s decision to purchase the meat from a grass-fed cow raised in Pemberton.
The manager of the Farmers Market in Whistler said he had been thinking about making the move for some time in cooperation with a bunch of friends who were also interested in purchasing beef directly from a local farmer.
The purchase was recently completed and Quinlan said buying half the cow was an awesome experience.
“I was down at the Pemberton Farmers Market and I actually met Roxy, the lady who owns the farm where the cows are, and we talked about it,” said Quinlan. “I was specifically looking for grass fed because it’s just a healthier kind of cow. We went back and forth and had a conversation. I took about a page of notes.”
He said he got back to her later and said he wanted to go ahead with the purchase.
“About a week later I gave her some money,” he said. “I know my cow.”
Quinlan also knows the farmer and the producer and he’s confident his beef is healthy.
According to Jason Pleym of Two Rivers Specialty Meats, interest in his company’s products has picked up since the discovery of E.coli at the huge beef processing plant in Brooks.
“Certainly, there’s a lot more conversation going around,” said the meat company owner who works closely with farmers in the Pemberton Valley. “Beef sales are down a bit more but there’s more opportunity for us in having, perhaps, a different story and a different process” Pleym said.
The farm product broker said most meat retailers don’t know where the meat products they sell originates from. His clients like the idea of knowing where Two Rivers meat came from and how the farmers handle their animals.
He said many of his clients like being able to trace their meat products right back to the farm it came from.
“You can’t get that information in a grocery store,” noted Pleym.
He said that many people are asking questions now about their food and some food providers can answer the questions while others can’t.
“The butcher shops and grocery store don’t know the situation of where those animals came from and a lot of times the buyer they got it from doesn’t know either.”
The latest information on all food recalls can be found at the CFIA website found at www.inspection.gc.ca.