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E. Coli Alert Prompts Beef Recall

Jul 23, 2005 | Calgary-based Westfair Foods Ltd. is voluntarily recalling certain ground beef products, including ground sirloin that consumers may have purchased last month at four British Columbia grocery outlets. The beef, supplied by XL Grinding, may be contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria.

The E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria can cause serious and potentially life-threatening illness by producing a toxin that can break down the lining of the intestines and damage the kidneys. Food contaminated with the E. coli bacteria will not look or smell spoiled.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Westfair Foods warned Friday that Westfair Foods ground beef sold during a small window in early to mid-June at the four stores should not be consumed. So far, there have been two reported illnesses associated with the product.

Lori Stene, spokeswoman for Westfair Foods, said it is not known how much beef product was affected. "Because we enlarged the recall and the warning to include absolutely everything, it's really hard to say how much ground beef we're talking about."

Westfair Foods ground beef products from the following locations are affected by the warning:
Real Canadian Superstore at 291 Cowichan Way, RR No. 6, Duncan, bearing a best-before date of JN15 to JN19, purchased between June 12 and June 17.

Real Canadian Superstore at 1105 Eaton Centre, Metrotown, Burnaby, bearing a best-before date of JN08 to JN11, purchased between June 5 and June 8.

Real Canadian Wholesale Club at 5335 Kingsway, Burnaby, bearing a best-before date of JN08 to JN12, purchased between June 6 and June 9.

Extra Foods at 7190 Kerr St., Vancouver, bearing a best-before date of JN08 to JN12, purchased between June 6 and June 9.

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