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Infectious Disease

Several ill in Canada after eating contaminated steaks

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Several people became ill after eating steaks that may contain E. coli bacteria sold at a store in Edmonton, Alberta, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said.

The announcement follows a series of beef product recalls that have raised concerns about meat processing standards in Canada.

The CFIA warned the public not to eat Kirkland brand beef steaks sold between September 4 and 7 at the Costco Wholesale Corp store on 50th Street in Edmonton.

The agency has not identified the supplier of the potentially contaminated beef, said CFIA spokesman Tim O'Connor.

One of the suppliers to the store is XL Foods' Brooks, Alberta, plant. Beginning in early September, privately held XL Foods has voluntarily recalled more than 250 beef products made at the plant after positive findings of E. coli.

E. coli bacteria can cause serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses.

XL Foods issued a statement saying it is "deeply concerned" for the people who became ill, adding that there has been no definitive link between its products and the cases of illness.

The United States halted imports of beef products from the XL Foods plant in Brooks, which is one of the largest in Canada, on September 13.

Canada is the sixth-largest beef and veal exporter in the world.

The CFIA has completed its review of the plant's food safety controls and found XL Foods could not demonstrate that it regularly updated its plan to control E. coli in the facility, the agency said.