TORONTO, Nov. 8, 2006 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX News Network) — TSX: MFI
Maple Leaf Foods has confirmed that all products voluntarily recalled yesterday have been withdrawn from store shelves. As a precautionary measure the Company is conducting follow-up store audits over the next week. The recall was due to potential tampering.
Syringe casings without needles were found on three separate occasions in the Company’s Kitchener, Ontario meat processing facility – October 24, November 2 and November 3, 2006. Syringes are commonly used in the facility for analytical testing purposes. The recall was initiated based on a syringe casing found visibly embedded in a ham found as part of routine visual product inspection.
Test results have confirmed the syringe casings found on October 24th and November 3rd contained a saline solution. Test results have also identified that the syringe casing found on November 2nd contained a residual amount of Heparin Lock Flush Solution, a saline solution containing a small concentration of Heparin, a nutrient (polysaccharide) derived from pigs, which is a common blood thinner used in a variety of medicinal applications. Medical opinion confirms there is no human health risk associated with ingesting Heparin. None of the products involved and produced on November 2nd and November 3rd ever left the Company’s possession.
“Food safety is our paramount concern. Our Schneider’s plant in Kitchener is a great facility with a strong tradition of product quality. We are proud of the people and the products. Our employees are outraged at these events and are cooperating fully with the investigation,” said Michael McCain, President and CEO. “We are confident that this recall has been conducted swiftly and efficiently, and that we have shown the highest level of due diligence.”
Increased security measures at the facility include greater levels of supervision, enhanced visual inspection, metal detection of all products, x-ray technology, security cameras and a confidential telephone line available to employees.
Products recalled include:
1/2 Kent Smoked Hams, best before date Jan 01
125 gram Schneider’s Lifestyle Fat Free Cooked Ham Sliced, best before date Dec. 29
125 gram Schneider’s Lifestyle Fat Free Cooked Ham Sliced, best before date Jan. 04
125 gram Schneider’s Lifestyle Fat Free Turkey & Ham Sliced, best before date Dec. 30
125 gram Schneider’s Lifestyle Fat Free Smoked Ham, best before date Dec. 29
The Company has received over 900 calls from consumers and to date there have been no evidence of illness or tampered products related to this recall to either the Company or the CFIA. Only one Maple Leaf meat processing facility out of 38 that operate across Canada was involved. The police investigation is ongoing with the full support and cooperation of the Company.
SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
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