Maple Leaf Foods Toronto plant resumes production

by Keith Nunes
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TORONTO — The Maple Leaf Foods’ meat-processing plant linked to a deadly Listeria outbreak started production on Sept. 17 after completing a pre-operation inspection program conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. On Aug. 20, Maple Leaf Foods closed the plant after a Listeria outbreak was linked to products produced at the facility, which has since been blamed for at least 17 deaths, 47 confirmed illnesses with nine other suspected cases.

"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 chief executive officer. "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, well beyond industry standards."

Products will not be shipped from the plant until the C.F.I.A. and Maple Leaf are satisfied that food-safety protocols in place are effective. Test runs of products also will be completed before any new product is distributed from the plant.

Maple Leaf Foods also announced plans to create a new position of chief food-safety officer in its efforts to restore consumer confidence in its brands.

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