XL Foods recall cost beef industry $27 million
Report quantifies impact on Canadian beef industry
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
Last year’s XL Foods recall of 4,000 tonnes of beef cost the beef industry between $16 and $27 million in losses, according to an independent report released Wednesday. The losses were significant, especially since the XL plant represented 35% of the country’s beef processing market.
Farmers and ranchers took the hit, as the cost of feeding cattle increased for every day that cattle were held back from processing. At the time of the outbreak, cattle producers were forced to send their cattle to other processors in the province or to the U.S., which in many cases, paid less per head, knowing that ranchers had few options available.
The review found a relaxed attitude towards applying food safety standards in the plant. It was noted that the E. coli contamination likely occurred from equipment not being properly sterilized. The report outlined a total of 30 new recommendations, which Ottawa says it will accept.
Following the outbreak, Cargill Ltd. and JBS USA bought the former XL Foods plant.