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Maple Leaf Foods Enhances Safety Protocols

26 January 2009

CANADA - While listeria exists in all ready-to-eat plants and presents an exceptionally low risk, Maple Leaf has implemented industry leading practices to detect and eradicate listeria, which are performing as designed.

The finding of listeria in a food plant may occur daily. The goal of a well designed programme is to generate those findings, create data patterns for additional investigations and to use the results of these findings on a daily basis to eradicate it at the location in which it was found.

The greater food safety risk to the Canadian public are those plants which are not finding positive results, largely due to the inexistence or lack of penetration of a properly designed testing programme.

Recent evidence of routine detection of listeria at the Company's Coppola plant was evidence of a properly functioning protocol, with a successful outcome for food safety and the Canadian public. Additionally, this plant produces predominantly dry cured meats, which don't promote the growth of listeria so pose considerably low health risk according to Health Canada.

There was and is no food safety risk to the public. The Company is working cooperatively with the CFIA, who have confirmed there is no food safety risk. There is no investigation underway; the CFIA is at the plant verifying and validating the unprecedented levels of data that Maple Leaf has shared.

"Our food safety protocols are working and we have implemented the highest food safety practices in Canada, well above government and industry standards," said Michael H. McCain, President and CEO. "The greatest risk to the Canadian food safety system is the multitude of Canadian plants which do not find positive test results simply because they don't test adequately. If you test, you will find and you can eradicate with the proper protocols. If you don't test, you won't find, but there will be no eradication which is the real food safety risk in this country." 

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Listeriosis by clicking here.

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