CANADA: Maple Leaf says food testing system working
Lynda Kuhn, Senior Vice-President, Maple Leaf Foods, writes regarding, Listeria
found in deli meat, Jan. 24, to say that Maple Leaf tests for the presence of all
listeria bacteria, even though only one of the six types has any potential health
impact. This is the most conservative approach to testing. A positive finding does
not mean the presence of the harmful listeria bacteria - listeria monocytogenes. The
CFIA confirmed there was no food safety concern.
Listeria is everywhere. Positive tests show that food safety systems are working to
detect listeria so it can be eradicated.
Our food safety protocols are working, and working well.
Maple Leaf has implemented an enhanced food safety program that is based on best
practices in North America. Over the past three months we have collected more than
42, 000 test results across our 24 packaged meat plants. This level of listeria
testing is unprecedented in Canada. Our test results show an average rate of
positive listeria findings of .08 per cent, which is an outstanding result and well
below the North American industry rate.
To support continued advances in food safety requires everyone to understand the
facts and encourage companies to do more to identify, communicate and eliminate
potential food safety risks.