Maple Leaf CEO Michael H. McCain Responds to Determination of Link to Plant


    TORONTO, Aug. 23 /CNW/ - In a press conference held this evening at the
offices of Maple Leaf Foods in Toronto, company CEO and President Michael
McCain responded to a Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Public Health Agency
of Canada conclusion that the strain of listeria bacteria which is linked to
the illness and death of several consumers matches the listeria strain
identified in some Maple Leaf food products.
    "Tragically, our products have been linked to illness and loss of life.
To those people who are ill, and to the families who have lost loved ones, I
offer my deepest and sincerest sympathies", said Mr. McCain. "Words cannot
begin to express our sadness for their pain."
    In light of these findings, the Company has made the decision to expand
its product recall to include all production from the Bartor Road facility
(Establishment No. 97B) as a further precautionary measure, notwithstanding
the fact that there is no evidence of Listeria contamination in product beyond
the production lines originally under investigation. We expect this additional
recall to be implemented swiftly, and a list of specific products and codes
will be published by tomorrow morning and will be available on the company
website at www.mapleleaf.com. This weekend the company's Bartor Road
processing plant remains closed during the most comprehensive sanitization
possible, which should be complete early this coming week.
    "This week our best efforts delivering the highest quality, safe food
have failed us. For that we are deeply sorry. We know this has shaken consumer
confidence in us. Our actions will continue to be guided by putting their
interest first," said Mr. McCain.
    The recall and retrieval of affected food products to date has been
highly effective and we are confident that all measures that could be taken to
ensure effective retrieval of affected product have and will continue to be
taken.

    Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading Canadian food processing company
committed to delivering quality food products to consumers around the world.
Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the Company employs approximately 23,000
people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, Europe and
Asia. The Company had sales of $5.2 billion in 2007.




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