Maple Leaf Delays Toronto Plant Reopening
TORONTO, Aug. 25, 2008 - Maple Leaf Foods announced it is delaying the opening of its Bartor Road processing facility, previously scheduled for tomorrow. The Company will reassess its decision to resume operations on a daily basis and is currently targeting to reopen the facility on Thursday, August 28, 2008.
Maple Leaf continues to actively meet with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), in addition to external industry experts, to determine the details of the food safety protocols under which the facility will be reopened. The Company is also reviewing what changes should be implemented, including measures such as a product hold and release initiative among other programs.
"The Canadian food safety system has an enviable track record around the world for its food safety protocols and Maple Leaf Foods has sought to go well beyond those regulatory standards. However, in today's environment we believe there will always be opportunities to further enhance our food safety protocols," said Michael H. McCain, president & CEO, Maple Leaf Foods. "As we get ready to resume production at Bartor Road, we've assembled industry leading experts to consult and advise us on several physical and operational enhancements being considered."
At this stage, Maple Leaf Foods is looking to complete additional disassembly of equipment in the facility as well as conducting additional testing that will likely involve pilot runs of product not destined for commercial sale.
"We remain steadfast in our belief that our actions must continue to be guided by what is in the best interests of public health," continued Mr. McCain.
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading food processing company, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately 23,000 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 2007.
SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.Media Inquiries contact: Linda Smith, (905) 285-6721
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