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Maple Leaf Foods Comments on Government’s New Listeria Policy

TORONTO, Feb. 27, 2009 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) — Maple Leaf Foods commented on the government’s new listeria policy released today, which is an essential next step towards higher levels of safety in the meat industry.

“We are encouraged to see the implementation of enhanced standards that will raise food safety standards across the industry,” said Michael McCain, President and CEO. “The best food safety system involves strong industry participation, with equally strong regulatory standards and oversight. This new government listeria management policy sets a new and more stringent regulatory standard. To a great extent we have put in place enhanced food safety protocols that meet or exceed these new requirements. The goal of industry should not be to simply meet the standard, but like Maple Leaf should seek to exceed it.”

“Our aggressive programs have demonstrated that listeria will be found routinely in ready-to-eat processing plant. Early detection is important as it ensures appropriate remedial actions are taken. While our company has learned, and continues to learn, that listeria control requires enormous attention to detail and rigour, the first step is to aggressively test to find where listeria will thrive in the plant environment and prevent it from entering the food supply,” added McCain.

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.

SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

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