A recent survey of 1,000 Canadians found two out of every five participants have cut the amount of beef they eat, or eliminated it from their diet altogether.
The survey comes just as the country is moving past an extensive beef recall by XL Foods when an E. coli outbreak closed its plant in Brooks, Alta. in September. CBC reports the recall affected a full range of products, including ground beef and steaks.
When asked about how the XL Foods recall had affected them, the Internet poll by Praxicus Public Strategies Inc. found 42 percent of consumers decreased or eliminated beef from their diets.
Mark Klassen, Director of Technical Services for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, told the Calgary Herald the survey isn’t a cause for concern. He said the survey question was loaded and there are other factors explaining the decreased interest in beef.
“One of the country’s largest processors simply wasn’t operating and that affected the supply in supermarkets,” he said.
Klassen said people will increase beef consumption over time. Declining cattle herds have increased the price of beef which can also deter consumers.