Maple Leaf Bartor Road Plant Resumes Production



    
    TSX: MFI
    www.mapleleaf.com
    

    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
        testing.

    -   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


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890