TORONTO – Maple Leaf Foods has issued a nationwide recall of all cured meats in Canada, news reports said on Tuesday.

Meat products from the company’s Toronto plant have been linked to a Listeria outbreak that has claimed at least six lives with more sickened.

Reports say that Maple Leaf now estimates associated with the recall will be $20 million before taxes as it deals with reimbursements for returns, factory cleanup and other expenses. The company warned that this is subject to change based on the actual amount of product returned by customers, costs associated with increased advertising and the possibility of reduced sales that it cannot yet estimate.

A day after the public health officials concluded the strain of listeria sickening Canadians is the same one detected at the Toronto plant, Maple Leaf added 220 additional products to its list of possibly dangerous meats sold under a variety of brand names.

These include Schneiders, Hygrade, Parma, Hickory Farms, Shopsy's, Western Family, Artisan Collection, Compliments, Campfire, Overlander and Safeway. A complete list is available on the company's Web site, but consumers are urged not eat any meat, from sausage to salami, bearing the telltale number 97B - indicating the plant of origin - displayed on packaging. Suspect lunch meats can be returned to the point of purchase for a full refund.


Source: CanWest News Service