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Maple Leaf Reopens Plant Linked to Listeria Outbreak


September 17, 2008
By The Canadian Press

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September 17, 2008-  A Maple Leaf Foods processing plant linked to a nationwide Listeria outbreak that's claimed 17 lives was reopened Wednesday, said CEO Michael McCain.

Production resumed under a phased-in period and tests will be done before any food is released to public, McCain said.

"We have learned from this tragic experience and we can and will do more,'' said McCain.

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"I continue to believe very strongly that Canada has one of the best food-safety systems in the world.''

The plant, where the Listeria bacterium was found embedded deep inside slicing equipment, had been closed since Aug. 20.

McCain said at a previous news conference that the company had cleaned the machines on a daily, weekly and monthly basis as recommended by the manufacturer.

It wasn't until the machines were disassembled that Maple Leaf found an area in the machine where the Listeria bacterium may have accumulated.

The investigation that shut down the Toronto plant and the subsequent recall off 191 products produced at the facility cost the company an estimated $20 million.