Brooks, Alta. – JBS USA, the company that is managing the XL Foods Inc. plant, says it will soon have the plant up to full production.
At a news conference on Oct. 25, the company announced that the plant will begin limited processing operations on Oct. 29, reports the CalgarySun.com. Eventually the company plans to ramp up to full capacity, requiring all 2,200 of its original employees.
XL Foods has been at the centre of one of Canada’s largest beef recalls that left at least 16 people ill.
Food safety protocols up to individual companies
CTVNews.ca reports that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has said that its control over food safety inside the slaughterhouses across the country has its limits. It’s up to the companies themselves, such as XL Foods, to enforce and monitor their own safety plans.
JBS representatives told the news conference that the company wasn’t going to “rehash” the issues XL Foods had with its food safety protocols. But did say they wanted to “set a bold path forward to get people back to work and to get safe, Canadian beef back on the plate of domestic consumers and consumers around the world,” reports CTVNews.ca.
JBS announced a six-point plan to bring the plant up to standard. The plan includes an independent third-party review of the plant and its food-safety plan by an expert from Texas A&M University, as well as additional training for XL Foods’ 2,200 employees.
The CalgarySun.com also reports that JBS has begun working with regulators in the U.S. with the aim of having the plant’s beef circulating once again in the U.S.
The company added that it hopes to see capacity up to 4,000 carcasses a day – XL Foods’ previous capacity – with a couple of weeks.
The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association says have JBS managing the plant and starting up production again “relieves a lot of uncertainty in the industry,” reports CTVNews.ca. Inventory of market-ready cattle has been held up, leaving the industry in limbo until now.