Brazilian beef firm JBS has entered into an agreement that will see its US business assume operational control of the Canadian operations of XL Foods, the company at the centre of a large-scale food scare. 

JBS USA will take management of “certain Canadian operations” of XL Foods, JBS said yesterday (17 October). 

The company will take over the management of XL Foods’ Alberta plant, which has been at the centre of a massive food safety recall.

Last month, the US halted imports from XL Foods’ plant due to findings of e. coli bacteria. Since then, food officials have allowed the company to partially resume operations while it continues to review the facility.

An exclusive purchase option is written into the agreement that would enable JBS to take control of the Canadian and US units of XL Foods for a total of US$100m in a cash and shares transaction. JBS emphasised that if it exercises its purchase option it will not assume responsibility for XL Foods’ debt or liabilities. 

The US operations will continue to be operated by XL Foods during the option period. 

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