January 25, 2009

Listeria found in Toronto plant products

The operator of a Toronto deli products plant said it is being investigated for a second time after some items were found to contain listeria bacteria.

A spokeswoman for Maple Leaf Foods Inc., which was investigated following a 2008 listeria outbreak, confirmed an unspecified number of deli items tested positive for the pathogen, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Sunday.

Spokeswoman Linda Smith added that the company was fully cooperating with Canadian Food Inspection Agency investigators.

The Cappola Food Inc. plant operated by Maple Leaf Foods produces meat products for both Canada and the United States. The factory had been accused of monitoring deficiencies by U.S. inspectors on three separate occasions.

The positive listeria results and the ensuing inspection agency investigation come less than a year after a listeria outbreak was blamed for the deaths of at least 20 people.

The CBC said last summer's outbreak, which significantly impacted Maple Leaf Foods, also prompted Canada's largest meat recall in the country's history.