XL Foods tainted beef poisons a Vancouver Island man

It's been more than a month since E. coli was detected in beef from the XL Foods plant in Brooks, Alberta.

And today, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control confirmed that a Nanaimo man is the first resident of this province to have ingested bacteria from the tainted meat. The unnamed man has recovered after becoming the 11th person infected.

It has many Canadians wondering what's wrong with the country's meat-inspection system.

Nearly two years ago, Straight contributor Alex Roslin tried to answer that question in a lengthy cover story called "How effective is Canada's meat-inspection system?".

He noted that "low-grade cuts are more susceptible to E. coli bacterial contamination because they come from parts of the cow that are more likely to come into contact with feces".

Roslin also pointed to a natural protein from cows and pigs known as "meat glue", which processors use to combine different cuts into a steak in what's called "restructured beef".

This is allowed in Canada even though it's banned in Europe.

The article won the Canadian Association of Journalists award for best investigative journalism in the magazine category.

"In fact, food-borne illnesses sicken a whopping 11 to 13 million Canadians each year, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, and as many as 500 may die as a result," Roslin reported at the time.

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