TORONTO, Sept. 17 /CNW/ - Maple Leaf Foods (MFI:TSX) today announced that
it is resuming production at its Bartor Road facility in Toronto, following
the completion of a comprehensive pre-operation inspection conducted by the
Canadian Food Inspection Agency ("CFIA"). Maple Leaf voluntarily closed the
plant after certain products were found to contain listeria.
"This plant has undergone intensive investigation, deep sanitizations and
testing to ensure that the listeria contamination linked to the recent
outbreak has been eradicated." said Michael McCain, President and CEO. "While
we have always practiced the highest level of vigilance, we are implementing
even more rigorous food safety standards going forward, which are best
practice in Canada and the industry."
- The Bartor Road facility has undergone six intensive sanitizations,
well beyond normal cleaning practices, under the supervision of
microbiologists and sanitation experts.
- Slicing equipment has been completely disassembled and deep cleaned
and tested multiple times. Slicing equipment across the Company is
subject to daily disassembly prior to daily cleaning and regularly
scheduled intensive disassembly to verify elimination of potential
harborage points, well beyond industry standards.
- The effectiveness of the sanitization effort has been verified
through recent extensive testing, including more than 1,200 swab
tests for listeria from various points on all production lines and
throughout the plant.
- We have enhanced our regular environmental Listeria monitoring
program, more than doubling the sampling sites and frequency of
- The plant will resume production over a phased-in period. No products
will be released until the CFIA and Maple Leaf are fully satisfied
that food safety protocols in place at the Bartor Road plant are
effective. Test runs of products will also be completed before any
new product is distributed from the plant.
"Throughout this incident we have steadfastly placed consumers' interests
first" concluded Mr. McCain. "Now we must completely restore their confidence
in the quality and integrity of our products."
Maple Leaf Foods is a leading food processing company, headquartered in
Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately 23,000 people at its
operations across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom and
Asia. The Company had sales of $5.2 billion in 2007.
For further information:
For further information: Investor Inquiries Contact: Lynda Kuhn, (416)
926-7031; Media Inquiries Contact: Linda Smith, (905) 285-6721