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Published October 28, 2013, 11:25 AM

E coli scare prompts beef recall

Canada expands the alert, and the company denies the blame.

By: Canadian Press, Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has expanded its alert over beef products from Belmont Meats Ltd. of Toronto because of possible E. coli contamination.

The federal food safety watchdog is now warning the public not to eat Sunspun bearpaw-shaped beef burgers sold at Loblaw-owned stores nationally and Compliments traditional beef burgers sold at Sobeys-owned stores in Ontario and the West.

The Sunspun beef products sold in 4.54-kilogram packages have a best-before date of Feb. 24, while the Compliments products in 1.36 kilogram packages have a best-before date of May 26.

The agency says there are nine confirmed cases of people getting sick from E. coli in the province, two probable cases and four suspected cases.

Duffy Smith, CEO of Belmont, says the potentially dangerous bacteria did not originate from his Toronto plant. He says federal food safety inspectors are checking where the beef trim came from that his company uses to make burgers to find the source of the E. coli.

Smith says the beef Belmont uses is certified and inspected by the CFIA from Canadian beef suppliers, which he declined to name.

He says since the agency issued health hazard alerts earlier this month about E. coli, Belmont has recalled about 68,000 kilograms of beef.

The agency has now issued recall notices this month for a total of nine Belmont beef products over possible E. coli contamination.

The eight-ounce burgers are sold frozen in packages of six (with a UPC code of 0 55742 37055 3). They were distributed in Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador in Sobeys banner stores, and might also be in Foodland, FreshCo and Price Chopper stories.

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