How safe is Canadian food? This week in Maclean's

    TORONTO, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - Frances Clark was an active, vibrant and
much-loved 89-year-old, when she suddenly contracted listeriosis, was
hospitalized and died. Soon, lab tests revealed dangerously high levels of
listeria monocytogenes in some Maple Leaf Foods products, which were then
recalled. But it was too late for Clark and the 19 other individuals who were
killed by the powerful pathogen. Canadians expect their food to be safe: How
could something like this happen?
    In the weeks that followed the Maple Leaf listeria crisis, it became
alarmingly clear that assuring the safety of food products, even in our
high-tech world, is a complicated, inexact science that offers no guarantees.
    Maclean's senior writer Michael Friscolanti, who has been following the
story closely since it began unfolding in August, goes behind the scenes to
find out the details of what went wrong and what is being done to protect
Canadians from future outbreaks. He interviews a somber Maple Leaf president
Michael McCain, who now faces class-action lawsuits; industry experts who
can't agree on the best way to test for and control food-borne pathogens; and
the leading scientists who are fighting to stop the seemingly unstoppable bug.

    PLUS in this week's issue of Maclean's:

    Just a game?: Could an addiction to video games be to blame for the
mysterious disappearance of Ontario's 15-year-old Brandon Crisp? In a youth
culture where so much social interaction has moved online, the deep ties young
people can form to games, virtual opponents and other computer pastimes could,
some experts say, be a recipe for disaster. In fact, studies suggest about
10 per cent of young gamers are pathologically addicted and experience serious
withdrawal symptoms when they are forced to stop. Crisp played Call of Duty
obsessively until his parents took away his Xbox. Now he is nowhere to be
found and his parents fear he may have met up with bad people he first
encountered in the virtual gaming world.

    A long cold winter for B.C: Fewer skiers and flagging interest in resort
real estate means the province's ski industry is in trouble - and the
government might soon have to step in.

    Russia's silver lining: The global financial crisis is bad news for
everyone, but Russia could use the meltdown to expand its influence with
neighbours and others.

    About Maclean's

    Maclean's is Canada's only national weekly current affairs magazine.
Maclean's enlightens, engages and entertains 2.8 million readers with strong
investigative reporting and exclusive stories from leading journalists in the
fields of international affairs, social issues, national politics, business
and culture. Visit

For further information:

For further information: Louise Leger, (416) 764-4125,

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