Maple Leaf names new food-safety chief

Canwest News Service


Source of Article:


Published: Wednesday, November 05, 2008

TORONTO - Maple Leaf Foods, the Canadian food processor at the forefront of a deadly tainted-meat scandal in recent months, has hired a new chief food safety officer.

Randall Huffman, president of the American Meat Institute Foundation, will assume the position at the Toronto-based company in January, according to a news release Wednesday.

Huffman oversaw AMI, a foundation that represents more than 600 meat-processing firms and industry suppliers globally. With degrees in meat and animal science from several American universities, he will lead Maple Leaf's food-safety and quality-assurance programs, the statement said.

"Dr. Huffman brings vast scientific and industry knowledge and experience to Maple Leaf in global food-safety best practices," Maple Leaf president Michael McCain said in the news release. "He will drive continuous improvement in our protocols, assets, and human resource strategies that will reflect the latest research and highest standards globally."

Contaminated deli meats from the company's Toronto plant were linked to at least 20 deaths this year, resulting in a massive nationwide meat recall.

After an extensive investigation, the company said it believed two slicers at the plant had been harbouring the potentially deadly bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes.

The bacterium can cause listeria, which poses an elevated health risk to pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of listeriosis include high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea.

The meat plant was shut down for a month, and then was permitted to operate while health officials tested samples of all meat produced.

Last month, Maple Leaf Foods Inc. posted a third-quarter loss of $12.9 million due to the financial impact of the deadly outbreak of listeriosis food poisoning.



Main Page

setstats            Copyright (C) All rights reserved under

            If you have any comments, please send your email to