A sign at the door the other day proclaimed “No Recalls Here”. This followed huge problems with e coli at the XL Foods packing plant in Brooks Alberta. It forced the largest recall of beef products in Canadian history.
Now comes word that an American company called J B S has taken over the XL plant. But wait, there’s more. The American company is a subsidiary of JBS S.A. of Brazil. For now JBS, which operates out of Greeley Colorado is managing the Brooks facility, and they have an option to buy.
The Alberta community is delighted because more than a thousand jobs have been in jeopardy for several weeks. The union representing the workers is sort of delighted, but the rest of us meat eating Canadians should seriously do more ‘due diligence’ when shopping for that next barbeque.
Chances are this new multi-national ownership group will be driven strictly by the bottom line. How did all this happen anyway? Ag minister Gerry Ritz, who shrugged off the deadly listeria nightmare four years ago as the “death of a thousand cold cuts”, says he’s not to blame, even though hundreds of meat inspectors were laid off in last spring’s budget.
There was a time when Canadians traveling to Mexico and other foreign lands were loudly warned “Don’t drink the water, and be careful what you eat. You don’t know where it’s been.” Now the best advice seems to be “cook that meat until it’s completely gray, and don’t stray too far from the bathroom.”
I trust that local butcher shop of mine, and I’m sticking with him.
I’m Roger Currie
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