Food Safety Concerns and Local Solutions

tainted beef, food safety, Kingston, OntarioThe food safety scandal involving the Canadian behemoth, XL Foods, began just over one month ago when the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and U.S. Department of Agriculture first identified numerous contaminated ground beef products.  Since the initial recall, XL Foods has gone on to pull a total of 250 products off of grocery store shelves, while over a dozen Canadians are recovering from consuming meat contaminated with E. coli bacteria. There are many theories and probable explanations as to just how this latest food safety disaster transpired. Union officials at XL Foods have stated that efficiency and speed were valued more so than sanitation and cleanliness at the Alberta-based meat processing plant.  The shear size and reach of XL Foods’ operations is also coming into focus, as the company is reportedly responsible for a staggering one third of all the red meat that’s sold in Canada.  And let’s not forget all the heat and light that is being placed on the inadequate number of food inspectors.  History is repeating itself, it would seem, while this latest chapter got us thinking:

How has the latest food safety scare affected you?

  • Our purchasing/eating is unchanged. (45%, 46 Votes)
  • We've stopped buying beef. (24%, 24 Votes)
  • We're now buying local beef. (23%, 23 Votes)
  • Something Else Entirely. (9%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 102

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During our recent excursions to the grocery store, we’ve kept the cart rolling right on past the meat coolers, although admittedly red meat rarely appears on our monthly grocery bill nowadays.  In fact, the only times we’ve purchased beef over the past few years has been when we were grilling fresh steaks on the barbeque, or making meatballs for mama’s special spaghetti sauce.  In either case, our beef is bought directly from local butchers rather than from some grocery store chain.  We justify the additional expense knowing that we’re supporting local farmers, but we also take comfort in the fact that our food was prepared and inspected locally.  Judging by anecdotal comments overheard at the meat counter at John’s and Old Farm Fine Foods lately, we’re not alone, as more and more Kingstonians are turning to locally sourced meat products.

Will the trend towards preferring local beef continue to increase in the Limestone City, or is this simply a blip that will soon be forgotten until the next big food safety scare? Have your purchasing or eating habits changed as a result of this or any other recall? Drop off your comments below.

Thanks to Sindead Stout for today’s photo.


  1. TedSmitts October 15, 2012
  2. mr_rectifier October 15, 2012

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