OTTAWA – It will cost taxpayers up to $3,500 a day, plus expenses, for a panel to  review the E. coli outbreak at an Alberta meat plant last fall.

The federal government last week launched a review of the outbreak of the potentially deadly bacteria at the XL Foods Inc. plant in Brooks, Alta.

The review will be conducted by an independent, three-member panel.

A cabinet order dated Feb. 5 shows that Ronald Lewis, the former chief veterinary officer for British Columbia, will be paid up to $1,300 a day to chair the panel.

The two other members, Northwest Territories chief public health officer Andre Corriveau and Ronald Usborne, a former executive with Caravelle Foods, will each be paid up to $1,100 per day.

Other expenses, including travel, accommodation and hiring expert staff will add to the overall bill.