B.C. meat plant charged with selling E. coli beef
Published Wednesday, January 16, 2013 8:59PM PST
Last Updated Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:26AM PST
A B.C. meat plant has been charged with 11 Food and Drugs Act offences after allegedly selling beef that had tested positive for E. coli bacteria.
The charges stem from September 2010, when a Pitt Meadows Meats inspection worker alerted his superiors that a deadly strain of the bacteria had been detected.
The company is accused of failing to notify the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and going on to sell beef that was “unfit for human consumption.” It issued a statement Wednesday defending its record and vowing to fight the charges.
“There have not been any complaints of illnesses related to the product sold in that period of time,” it read.
Authorities allege tainted beef was distributed to 11 restaurants and markets in the same month before the inspection worker, Daniel Land, filed a complaint.
The company has said it failed to notify anyone about the test results because it was suspicious that Land had tainted the sample.
“After the complaint was lodged, CFIA repeatedly tested Pitt Meadows Meats products for E.coli. Hundreds of tests were conducted by CFIA officials and no contamination was ever found,” the company said.
Land has been called a meat industry whistleblower for bringing the allegations to light, though the company disagrees with that characterization.
Pitt Meadows Meats said it believes Land is merely “disgruntled” and intent on harming his former employer.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Mi-Jung Lee