Meat recall may bring business to Borden-Carleton

The president of the Atlantic Beef Products plant in Borden-Carleton says Canadians are buying less beef, but it's too early to tell whether that's because of the massive beef recall underway in Canada.

Approximately 1,500 products have been pulled from the shelves of many grocery chains from coast to coast because they could contain E. coli from the XL Foods plant in Alberta.

"It's not a positive story for beef," said Mike Nabuurs, president of Atlantic Beef Products.

"Especially this time of year when people are thinking more along the lines of poultry, turkey or hams for Thanksgiving. This is going to tip them even further towards breaking those kind of meat purchases as opposed to beef."

Nabuurs said he hasn't seen a lot of extra orders yet at the Borden-Carleton plant, although one customer in the Maritimes has ordered more ground beef this week.

There have been a number of inquiries, but Nabuurs doesn't think he will see more orders for another couple of weeks, and that's only if the XL plant remains closed.

"We only have a certain volume here at the plant and in comparison, that plant out west is probably about a 100 times bigger than ours in volume," said Nabuurs.

"So we'll not be able to fill that gap by any means, but we can try and fill in where we can and if we can do that, we certainly will."

Nabuurs said Atlantic Beef Products is willing to help, but he also warned there's only so much supply. He said he'll have a better idea of the actual impact on sales from the national recall in a few weeks.

The XL Foods plant usually supplies one-third of the beef products sold in Canada. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency suspended the plant's licence to operate last Thursday.

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