Canadian processor Maple Leaf Foods postponed reopening
facility involved in an outbreak of listeriosis
linked to deli meats that has killed six people.
The company, which had planned to open the plant Tuesday, now expects to do
so on Thursday, according to published reports. Maple Leaf wants extra time
to complete additional equipment disassembly and further tests. The processor
has recalled more than 200 products produced at the plant, making it one of
the largest food recalls ever in Canada.
Earlier this week, the Public Health Agency of Canada said there have been 26
confirmed cases of the outbreak strain of listeria,
including the six deaths for which listeriosis was
definitively the cause. Another 29 cases are under investigation, and PHAC
expects additional cases to surface over the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan-based Merchant Law Group filed a class-action
lawsuit against Maple Leaf, and hundreds of consumers joined the action
within hours. A senior lawyer with the firm said if the case is won, total
compensation could exceed hundreds of millions of dollars.