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Maple Leaf Potatoes Receives HACCP Recognition

Lethbridge Plant is a Canadian First

Lethbridge, Alberta - Maple Leaf Potatoes in Lethbridge Alberta has become Canada's first full-size french fry plant to successfully develop and implement a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. Administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the HACCP program is Canada's most complex food safety program and the only one acknowledged internationally.

"The HACCP recognition exemplifies Maple Leaf's commitment to providing our customers with the very best quality product and reinforcing our safe food supply," says Steve Dowbiggin, Vice President and General Manager, Maple Leaf Potatoes. "There is a tremendous sense of pride among our crew here at Maple Leaf Potatoes. This success is truly a team effort that everyone should be proud of."

HACCP is a rigorous quality control program that emphasizes prevention rather than detection. The program was implemented at the Lethbridge plant in two stages. The first required the entire facility to satisfy a number of requirements regarding maintenance, personnel, sanitation and included mock recall exercises. The second stage focused on the process to ensure that each step involved in producing french fries - from receiving potatoes from the farmers, to shipping packaged french fries to grocery stores - meets critical points to overcome potential food safety risks. Throughout the two-month audit procedure, the CFIA conducted random testing with employees to ensure compliance.

"We were already producing a world class product at the Lethbridge plant," says Dowbiggin. "Receiving this HACCP recognition lends even greater confidence to our customers at home in Canada and around the globe." Maple Leaf Potatoes exports to Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, Hong-Kong, China, Singapore, Venezuela, Southern and Central America and Saudi Arabia.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading, global food processing company. Headquartered in Toronto, the Company employs more than 13,000 people at its operations across Canada, in the United States, Europe and Asia. Maple Leaf Foods Inc. had sales of more than $3.9 billion in 2000.

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