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E. coli Blog Surveillance & Analysis on E. coli News & Outbreaks

15 now sick with E. coli in XL Outbreak

The number of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to beef from XL Foods in Canada has risen from 12 to 15, according to a notice issued by Canadian health officials Friday.

The 15 cases have occurred in Alberta (7), Newfoundland and Labrador (1), Quebec (4) and British Columbia (3). One of the BC victims was a visitor to Canada, notes the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which issued Friday’s outbreak update.

This news comes a day after the XL Foods Alberta plant – the source of the contamination – waspartially reopened after being shut down for over a week.

The potentially contaminated beef products from the company were processed on August 24th, 27th, 28th, 29th and September 5th. Beef products manufactured after that time are not thought to be at risk of contamination.

The XL Foods recall – the largest in Canadian history – has been expanded 16 times since it was first issued September 16 after testing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of E. coli in the company’s ground beef product at the Canadian border September 3.

A full list of the recalled products is available on CFIA’s website.

Although 2.5 million pounds of the recalled product entered the United States – according to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service – no U.S. illnesses have been linked to beef from XL foods to date, say U.S. health officials.