Thursday, May 13, 2010

Table Talk

I've been invited to a roundtable forum for food safety by the folks at

If you've been living under a rock (or perhaps outside of Canada), you might not know that back in 2008 there was a huge listeria contamination at one of the Maple Leaf Foods processing plants in Ontario.  This led to a huge recall, a wave of fear, and many cases of listeriosis among consumers of the tainted lunch meats. 22 people died from listeriosis or complications of the illness.

Maple Leaf, trying to improve their reputation for food safety and regain brand confidence, would like to address the changes made to improve food safety standards and procedures.  In the video below, Michael McCain, President of MLF, outlines these changes.  In a nutshell: sanitation protocols, testing, training, food safety leadership.

Maple Leaf Foods has been in the meat-packing business for over 80 years; they are not new to the game.  (Being a Canadian brand, it's unlikely this product is exported.  If you're in the USA, compare this to the salmonella outbreak in the peanut butter processing plant in Georgia last year in which 9 people died, sparking a major recall.)  

If you had the chance to ask Maple Leaf Foods about the recall, their commitment to responsible food safety practices, or anything else, what would you ask?  I would be happy to pose these questions to the representatives on Wednesday, May 19th and report back.


Captain Dumbass said...

No questions, because sadly, I'd totally forgot about it.

Tracy said...

Congrats on being involved in the discussion. I saw the shoutout from Matchstick on twitter last week. I have no idea what to ask other than can they REALLY guarantee their food safety? I have lost a lot of confidence in Maple Leaf but I've been noticing that many other manufactures have the same problems. What are they doing to prevent this from happening again?
Give it to them, make them responsible and have fun while you are doing it :O)

Eva Gallant said...

I hope they are paying you for running their video on your blog.

thatgirlisfunny said...

Companies are run by people and people make mistakes. Trust is difficult, but not impossible to rebuild.

My question would be a very simple and straight-forward one.

"How do you ensure that your workers wash their hands after using the restroom?"

I didn't watch the video - this might have been addressed. But without a deep belief in hand-washing, people won't do it - every single time.

thatgirlisfunny said...

Forget to say Hello SITStah!

Miz Dinah said...

@Tracy & thatgirl: Good questions; I will ask!

@Eva: I think airtime on my blog goes for cheap. Will work for bacon. :) No, actually I put it up to give info on their new policies in case anyone was interested or it answered any questions. They ARE offering a gas card for our time and travel though, which is nice.