Cargill, Canada's biggest beef processor, is recalling ground beef sold by Wal-Mart Stores Inc that may be contaminated with E. coli, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said Dec. 2.
The agency said there have not been any reported illnesses associated with Cargill Meat Solutions' "Your Fresh Market" brand beef, which was sold in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
The recall comes more than two years after Canada recalled millions of pounds of beef produced at the former XL Foods plant at Brooks, Alberta. At least 18 people became ill in 2012.
E. coli bacteria can cause illness, or even death, and symptoms include severe stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. Cooking meat to the correct internal temperature kills the bacteria.
Cargill is recalling 31,000 pounds of beef produced at its Calgary, Alberta, plant, said Connie Tamoto, spokeswoman for the privately held company's Canadian division. Minnesota-based Cargill is the world's biggest agribusiness conglomerate.
"Producing safe food is critical to Cargill, its customers and consumers and we take food safety very seriously," Tamoto said, adding that the company aimed to minimize the potential for food-borne illnesses at its North American plants.
The CFIA said test results triggered the recall. Its investigation may lead to other products being recalled, the agency said.
Wal-Mart could not be reached immediately for comment.