Maple Leaf Foods Comments on Government's New Listeria Policy

    TORONTO, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - Maple Leaf Foods commented on the government's
new listeria policy released today, 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. "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."
    "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 McCain.

    Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading food processing company, headquartered
in Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately 24,000 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 2008.

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