Important Food Safety Information for Canadians

Toronto, Canada – September 28, 2012 – in light of the recent recalls of beef in the last two weeks, Canada Beef Inc. is sharing their knowledge and information with Canadian consumers. There are important ways consumers can safeguard their health through proper hygiene, effective food preparation and thorough cooking of ground meats.

“As the organization proudly representing Canada’s 83,000 beef farming families, we wanted to share this information to ensure all Canadian families can continue to enjoy Canadian beef and all food products safely,” says Rob Meijer, President, Canada Beef Inc. “The industry is concerned about food borne illnesses and we continue to look at new and better ways to educate our partners in retail and the foodservice sectors, as well as consumers, about how they can better protect themselves through safe food handling.”

Canada has an excellent track record in food safety. Canadian meat processors have developed internationally recognized systems known as HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) plans to control E.coli O157:H7 and other foodborne bacteria. These plans identify potential food safety hazards and monitor the most important production steps (critical points) to ensure these hazards are controlled before the product is sent to market. This recall is showing the system works.

It is important to remember E.coli O157:H7 can be present in raw meat, poultry, unpasteurized milk and fruit juices, raw greens and vegetables.

Here are some helpful tips for consumers:
• Cook meat to a safe internal temperature. For ground beef it’s 71C/160F – use a digital instant read thermometer to know for sure. For detailed cooking instructions for each cut of Canadian beef, visit Beef 101.
• Wash hands before and after handling food and frequently while cooking, especially after handling raw meat and poultry. See what Marissa the Meat Maven has to say about this.
• Avoid cross contamination of food by washing utensils, plates and cutting boards that have come into contact with raw meat and poultry, in hot, soapy water.
• Wash all raw fruits and vegetables before you prepare and eat them.
• Refrigerate or freeze foods promptly. See this handy video on tips for Loving Leftovers.
• When grocery shopping, add meats and other items that should stay cool, to your cart last and be sure to keep them separate from other items in the cart.

Canada Beef Inc. is a proud partner with the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education in communicating safe food handling practices for Canadians and their families. Consumers can visit the Partnership’s Be Food Safe website for detailed Cook, Clean, Separate and Chill lessons.

For more information on Canada Beef Inc. visit