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Industry and government come together to make food safer for Canadians

-MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 22, 2009 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) — Food safety – a shared responsibility – Leaders across the Canadian food industry and government are coming together to share information and learn about emerging technologies and science, in order to produce safer food for Canadians. The food safety symposium entitled “Enhancing Our Knowledge and Capabilities to Produce Safer Food” is the first gathering of its kind since the new Canadian Listeria policy was put into place after the lessons learned from last year’s Listeria crisis. Hosted by Maple Leaf Foods, it will involve representatives from the Canadian food industry, government and the research community.

“The Canadian food industry is united that food safety not be used as a competitive advantage. Every member at every step in the production process is a steward of food safety,” said Dr. Randall Huffman, Chief Food Safety Officer for Maple Leaf Foods. “This spirit of cooperation heralds a new beginning for our industry, and together we will make Canada the gold standard for food safety. This symposium is the first in a series to ensure we share experiences and knowledge, and gain insights into emerging risks, technology advances and cutting edge science that can deliver safer food for Canadians.”

The symposium features presentations from Canada’s leading health and regulatory experts including Jane Billings, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Health Agency of Canada, who will discuss foodborne illness trends and public health initiatives in Canada. Dr. Brian Evans, Executive Vice President, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, (CFIA) will discuss his agency’s regulatory approach and provide an update on actions taken related to Listeria. Global experts in communication, detection and control will present the latest findings in testing and use of antimicrobials to build an effective Listeria management program, and discuss how to effectively communicate risk.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading food processing company, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately 24,000 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Asia. The Company had sales of $5.2 billion in 2008.

Maple Leaf Food Safety Symposium Presenters

  • Jane Billings, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Dr. Brian Evans, Executive Vice President, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Dr. Kathy Glass, Associate Director, Food Research Institute, University of Wisconsin
  • Dr. Peter Sandman, Risk Communications Consultant
  • Dr. Martin Wiedmann, Associate Professor, Department of Food Science, Cornell University
  • Dr. Randall Huffman , Chief Food Safety Officer, Maple Leaf Foods
  • Iain Stewart, Senior Vice President, Transformation & Food Safety, Maple Leaf Consumer Foods

SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Media Contact: Linda Smith, (416) 457-1814