Three weeks after the Maple Leaf financial dude told the markets the plant would reopen, the Maple Leaf listeria plant is about to reopen and produce deli-meats.
The company has videos, a long list of food safety enhancements they are adopting, and has created the position of ‘chief food safety officer.’
Guess I thought a $5 billion a year company would already have one of those. But that’s one of the things I find most challenging – how to compel everyone from maintenance crews to CEOs that food safety matters, especially in the absence of an outbreak. Now there’s an outbreak, 24 suspected or confirmed dead, 56 ill.
"Throughout this incident we have steadfastly placed consumers’ interests first" said Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods.
That remains to be seen as more is uncovered about why there were delays and lousy notification as news of the outbreak initially trickled out. But yes, once the problem became publicly apparent, the company acted in great fashion.
The Canadian Medical Association Journal yesterday called for a full public inquiry. Not necessary, and a waste of taxpayers money. A few Bill Marler lawsuits would reveal far more about who knew what when.
Or people could do their jobs:
• Maple Leaf in conjunction with the various public authorities should provide a full public accounting of who knew what when and what was done to find out more;
• some sort of warning system about the risk of listeriosis in foods must be developed for at-risk populations – especially pregnant women and the elderly because they are the ones who get sick and die; and,
• make all data of listeria testing in plants public so others in the industry can improve and consumer confidence can be enhanced with data not just words.