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CFIA adds 200 more products to beef recall list

Photograph of freezer shelves with less number of meat products in a August 2008 file photo. The public is being warned to check all ground beef products in their freezers as a growing country-wide recall due to possible E.coli contamination affects a number of brands.

Sami Siva for The Globe and Mail/sami siva The Globe and Mail

Nearly 200 more products have been added to Canada's largest beef recall.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency released a 22-page list Thursday morning of additional products that people should avoid.

"The CFIA is warning the public, distributors and food service establishments not to consume, sell, or serve the beef products ... because the products may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7," the federal food-safety watchdog said in a statement.

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The growing recall – which had earlier comprised about 1,800 products sold by dozens of stores nationwide – covers items connected to the XL Foods slaughterhouse in Brooks, Alta., one of the three largest in the country.

The recall of millions of pounds of beef sparked an emergency debate in Ottawa Wednesday evening and left the federal government scrambling to defend Canada's food safety.

Alberta officials say they're investigating nine case of E. coli, four of which have been linked to meat from the XL Foods slaughterhouse. Saskatchewan says reported cases of E. coli jumped last month. There were 13 – numbers typically range from zero to four – but authorities were still investigating whether any are linked to the recalled beef.

The E. coli has been traced to Aug. 23, a slaughter day at the plant, and five subsequent days when cows killed on the 23rd were further cut up into products.

XL is a supplier to major smaller agencies, and its products are found in essentially every major grocery chain in Canada. About half its product is sent to the U.S., which has now closed its border to XL Foods.

In its statement Thursday, the CFIA acknowledged that the size of the recall could increase yet again.

"The trace out from XL to secondary and tertiary distributors, manufacturers and retailers could result in a large number of affected products over a wide range of codes and dates," the agency said.

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– With files from The Globe and Mail's Steven Chase, Dawn Walton and Josh Wingrove

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About the Author

Oliver Moore joined the Globe and Mail's web newsroom in 2000 as an editor and then moved into reporting. A native Torontonian, he served four years as Atlantic Bureau Chief and has worked also in Afghanistan, Grenada, France, Spain and the United States. More

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