Authors: Registered Dietitians
(HealthCastle.com) Like most Canadians, I’ve been watching the news about the XL beef recall with growing concern. Since this recall has some people wondering if they’ll ever feel safe buying beef again, I wanted to talk about ways to find meat that has not been processed at a large, industrial facility like XL.
The best alternative to industrially processed meat is to buy from a local butcher. The meat may cost a bit more, but you’ll know exactly what you’re getting, and there’s a much lower chance of contamination than in a facility that processes literally tons of beef every day. You’ll also find excellent quality and a range of cuts you might not find at the grocery store. Of course, local butchers are also very knowledgeable about their products, so they can often tell you exactly where the meat they sell comes from, and even how the animals were raised (whether the meat is natural/organic/grain-fed, and so on). Plus, local butchers can offer advice on what to do with cuts of meat you may not have used before, so you can stretch your budget with new cooking techniques.
First off, here’s a list of BC chains that may have sold meat processed at XL foods that is subject to the recall:
- Big Way
- Bulkley Valley Wholesale
- Cooper's Foods
- Costco Wholesale Canada
- Extra Foods
- No Frills
- Overwaitea Foods
- PriceSmart Foods
- Real Canadian Superstore
- Real Canadian Wholesale Club
- Shop Easy
- Super A
- Your Independent Grocer
So far, the recall applies to about 1,500 products with manufacturing dates of August 24, 27, 28, 29, and September 5. However, those are the dates the meat was processed at XL, which may not be the same date used on the “packaged on” label at the store. The recall list continues to expand, with new products being added every day, and some of the recalled products having been sold as recently as October 2. You can find the latest update from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, with a full list of recalled products here. If you have any doubt at all about where and when you bought your beef, you should not eat it. The beef will not look or smell bad, but it may still be contaminated.
Local Vancouver Butchers - A Safer Alternative
Here are five local butcher shops you can check for meat that has not been processed in an industrial facility.
- Windsor Packing Co., Ltd. at 4110 Main Street.
- Jackson’s Meats & Deli at 2214 West 4th Ave.
- Robson Gourmet Butcher at 133-1610 Robson St.
- Columbus Meat Market at 1655 Renfrew St.
- The Butcher on 10th at 4529 West 10th Ave.
I always order my meat as part of my SPUD grocery delivery. Their meat comes from Two Rivers meats, a local farm that raises animals naturally, and it is not processed in large, industrial facilities, so I am confident eating the beef I have in my home. If you’re a SPUD customer, you can check out this option as well.
Tell us: Do you have a favourite local butcher shop? Were you affected by the beef recall?