With the XL Foods plant taking its first steps towards re-starting production, the beef industry now faces the challenges of bringing back consumers.
Some operations at the closed plant are resuming now, but meat is still not leaving the facility.
Rich Smith, executive director of the Alberta Beef Producers, said his group plans to continue to remind consumers how narrow this problem was.
“We have tried to get the message out that this is not about beef, it is about a situation at a very specific facility in a very narrow period,” he said Thursday.
Smith said even as the recall continued to expand, it still centred around five days of processing.
Dr. Ellen Goddard, an agricultural economist at the University of Alberta, said consumers will come back.
“Beef is a staple and when people see it back on the shelf, they will go back to it,” said Goddard.
She said it is important for XL to talk about what happened as part of the process.
“They definitely need to say how they feel that the incident happened, and they need to make sure they can explain to people how E.Coli appears and what steps they have taken.”
Smith agrees, and said it is important for both XL and regulators to address what happened and what it being done.
“What we really want is a long period of unblemished food safety.”
- The plant has been closed since Sept. 27 when the CFIA pulled its license.
- The plant process about 4,000 cattle per day when operating at its peak.