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Maple Leaf Welcomes New Listeria Policy

02 March 2009

CANADA - Maple Leaf Foods commented on the government's new listeria policy released on Friday, which is an essential next step towards higher levels of safety in the meat industry.

"We are encouraged to see the implementation of enhanced standards that will raise food safety standards across the industry," said Michael McCain, President and CEO.

Mr McCain said the best food safety system involves strong industry participation, with equally strong regulatory standards and oversight. This new government listeria management policy sets a new and more stringent regulatory standard.

"To a great extent we have put in place enhanced food safety protocols that meet or exceed these new requirements. The goal of industry should not be to simply meet the standard, but like Maple Leaf should seek to exceed it," he said.

"Our aggressive programs have demonstrated that listeria will be found routinely in ready-to-eat processing plant. Early detection is important as it ensures appropriate remedial actions are taken. While our company has learned, and continues to learn, that listeria control requires enormous attention to detail and rigour, the first step is to aggressively test to find where listeria will thrive in the plant environment and prevent it from entering the food supply," added Mr McCain.

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