Former Edmonton health chief to investigate listeriosis outbreak
Source of Article: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2009/01/20/listeriosis-investigator.html
Updated: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 | 5:40 PM ET
The former head of Edmonton's health
authority will lead an investigation into last year's deadly listeriosis outbreak, Prime Minister Stephen Harper
a past CEO of Capital Health in Edmonton,
was appointed by Harper to act as an independent investigator into the
outbreak, which sparked a nationwide recall of Maple Leaf meat products.
She will also offer
recommendations on how to prevent a similar outbreak in the future.
Weatherill's report is to be given to Agriculture
Minister Gerry Ritz by July 20 — four months later than the government's
original plan to have the report finished in March.
At the height of the crisis in
September, Harper promised an arm's-length investigation would be launched at
the end of the deadly outbreak, which left 20 Canadians dead.
The prime minister said at the
time that the purpose of the probe would be to ensure "we get to the
bottom on the government's side, on the bureaucratic side, of exactly what
transpired and to make sure that as we go forward and we make changes to our
system, that this kind of thing can't happen again."
Harper, however, stopped short
of promising a full judicial inquiry.
The outbreak, which began in
August, was traced back to meat from a Maple Leaf Foods plant in Toronto and prompted
the company to issue a recall of virtually all the products produced at the
The company agreed last month
to pay up to $27 million to settle class-action lawsuits.
Listeria bacteria can be found
in unpasteurized dairy products, raw vegetables and meats and processed foods
including deli meats and hot dogs. Eating foods spoiled with Listeria monocytogenes can result in serious illness that can
cause brain and blood infections and, in extreme cases, death.
from the Canadian Press