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article imageMaple Leaf To Reopen Toronto Plant

By Bob Ewing     Sep 17, 2008 in Business
Maple Leafs Foods has announced they are reopening the Toronto meat processing plant linked to a nationwide Listeria outbreak.
Maple Leafs Foods CEO Michael McCain announced the production at the Toronto plant is being phased in and that tests will be completed before any product is sold to the public.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will also give its approval prior to any shipments.
"We have learned from this tragic experience and we can and will do more," McCain said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.
"I continue to believe very strongly that Canada has one of the best food-safety systems in the world."
Maple Leaf products from the plant could be on back in grocery stores by late next week.
It is generally believed the Listeria bacterium originated deep inside the components of two slicing machines in the Toronto plant.
The plant is sanitized and that all 84 slicing machines at the plant are now subject to "more stringent controls."
McCain had previously stated the machines' regular cleaning and maintenance went beyond the manufacturer's guidelines, but they were not disassembled under normal protocol.
The machines are the "most likely" cause of the Listeria outbreak, but an "absolute determination is impossible" because of the bacteria's pervasiveness.
The investigation shut down the entire plant and 191 products produced there were recalled, at an estimated cost of $20 million.
McCain had issued an apology on behalf of his company in television and print ads released in August.
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