Media Centre
2009/07/21

Maple Leaf Responds to Weatherill Report on Food Safety

TORONTO, Jul 21, 2009 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- Maple Leaf Foods (MFI:TSX) today commented on the Weatherill Report that investigated the listeriosis outbreak last year that claimed the lives of 22 Canadians. The source of the contamination was three types of prepared meat products made at the Maple Leaf Foods Bartor Road plant in Toronto.

"This report is tough and it ought to be, with strong recommendations for further improving the Canadian food safety system," said Michael McCain, President and CEO. "We thought we had a good food safety program last August, but our efforts failed with tragic consequences. Since then we have transformed every aspect of our food safety program. We cannot and will not forget the lessons of last August and that means imposing the highest standard of food safety in every product we make."

The Company will be hosting a press conference today to discuss the report.

Who: Michael McCain, President & CEOHi
When: July 21, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Where: 30 St. Clair Avenue West, 16th Floor, Toronto
How: In person, or to participate via conference call, please call

English: 416-340-2217/866-696-5910 (Passcode 2336348 followed by the pound sign)
French: 514-861-2255/866-696-5910 (Passcode 7138752 followed by the
pound sign)

For those unable to join the call, a playback will be made available one hour after the event at: 416-695-5800/800-408-3053 (Passcode 7774858 followed by the pound sign).

Registration Required: To register, please contact Rachel Douglas at 416-963-6165 or douglarm@mapleleaf.ca. In-person attendance is limited due to space restrictions.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading Canadian 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.

Media Hotline: (416) 926-2020

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