The Windsor Star tonight is reporting that Maple Leaf Foods thinks its found where listeria contaminated many of its ready-to-eat products blamed for the death of at least 13 Canadians.
The newspaper reports:
The bacterium blamed in the deaths of 13 Canadians most likely came from "deep inside the mechanical components of two identical slicing machines" in Maple Leaf Foods’ Toronto plant, the company’s CEO says.
Michael McCain, Maple Leaf’s president and CEO, announced Friday night that the identical machines on production lines No. 8 and No. 9 were the "most likely source." However, he added the Canadian Food Inspection Agency had not yet finished its investigation.
"Upon complete disassembly of that slicing equipment, areas were found deep inside the machines where bacteria may have accumulated and avoided our rigorous sanitization procedures," said McCain.
Maple Leaf Foods has recalled 191 products sold across the country over fears they could contain meats tainted with listeria, which causes the potentially fatal food-borne illness listeriosis.
He said other factors, including the location of a service elevator and floor drain, may have also contributed to the outbreak, but McCain added that these areas were not contact surfaces.
For more about Canada’s listeria outbreak, go here.