In the wake of last summer's listeriosis outbreak
connected to Maple Leaf Foods deli meats, a report from the House of
Commons agriculture committee calls for a number of significant changes
to Canada's food safety system.
Recommendations include harmonizing food safety standards in provincial
and federal food plants; establishing an ongoing federal review of
Canada's food safety standards; and cooperation between the Canadian
Food Inspection Agency and the food safety inspectors' union to provide
"accurate, real-time evaluation" of inspectors' resources.
A statement from Toronto-based Maple Leaf indicated support for many of
"As a result of our responsibility for the listeria tragedy we had
to improve, we did and we will continuously," said Maple Leaf
President and CEO Michael McCain. "We have implemented food safety
protocols based on global best practices in extensive testing, training
and technology. Maple Leaf will continue to take an advocacy role in
the pursuit of improved practices across the industry, freely sharing
our lessons learned and new approaches to food safety."
Independent investigator Sheila Weatherill is due to present her
findings about the crisis to Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz
The listeriosis outbreak led to the deaths of 22 people and the recall
of hundreds of products.