|Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. (Ian Kucerak/QMI Agency)
A team of scientific, health and food industry experts will investigate what led to the E. coli outbreak at Alberta's XL Foods last fall, the government announced Friday.
"This is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that Canadians continue to have one of the safest food safety systems in the world," Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said in a statement. "As our government committed, there will be an independent review that will be made public."
The team will explore whether the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) or XL Foods could have detected the contamination before the beef products were sold, and review how effectively the agency responded to the crisis.
They panel includes Ronald Lewis, B.C.'s former chief veterinary officer, Dr. Andre Corriveau, N.W.T.'s chief public health officer and Ronald Usborne, a former executive with Caravelle Foods.
The E. coli contamination at the Brooks, Alta., plant sparked a Canada-wide recall of beef -- the biggest in the country's history.