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Maple Leaf plant resumes production

Maple Leaf Foods have announced that it is resuming production at its Bartor Road facility in Toronto, following the completion of a comprehensive pre-operation inspection conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency ("CFIA"). Maple Leaf voluntarily closed the plant after certain products were found to contain listeria.

Intensive investigation
"This plant has undergone intensive investigation, deep sanitizations and testing to ensure that the listeria contamination linked to the recent outbreak has been eradicated." said Michael McCain, President and CEO. "While we have always practiced the highest level of vigilance, we are implementing even more rigorous food safety standards going forward, which are best practice in Canada and the industry."

The Bartor Road facility has undergone six intensive sanitizations, well beyond normal cleaning practices, under the supervision of microbiologists and sanitation experts.

Slicing equipment has been completely disassembled and deep cleaned and tested multiple times. Slicing equipment across the Company is subject to daily disassembly prior to daily cleaning and regularly scheduled intensive disassembly to verify elimination of potential harbourage points, well beyond industry standards.

Swab tests
The effectiveness of the sanitisation effort has been verified through recent extensive testing, including more than 1,200 swab tests for listeria from various points on all production lines and throughout the plant.

The plant will resume production over a phased-in period. No products will be released until the CFIA and Maple Leaf are fully satisfied that food safety protocols in place at the Bartor Road plant are effective. Test runs of products will also be completed before any new product is distributed from the plant.

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• Maple Leaf Foods

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