Ottawa, Canada (JusticeNewsFlash.com – Health Report) – The number of deaths has risen from 4 to 12 in a matter of days. In the province of Ontario there have been 11 deaths and one was in British Columbia. The spike in deaths is because they have reworked the definition to include any cases where Listeria is an underlying or contributing factor to a person’s illness, Agricultural Minister Gerry Ritz said at a news conference. The Public Health Agency of Canada said there are 26 confirmed cases of listeriosis across the country and 29 more are being investigated. It was reported in the Vancouver Sun that the cases of food poisoning are due to consuming contaminated meat from the Maple Leaf distributors. Their plant in Toronto has shut down temporarily to allow for heavy sanitizing of the facility. All of the recalled meat products have been removed from stores shelves across Canada. What makes this situation complex is that the products were distributed to various locations all over the country, making the meat difficult to find and discard. The recall will inflict a huge blow to the Maple Leaf Company, as it is expected to cost around $19 million. The plant is reinstating new protocols and criteria for distribution while attempting to re-open soon. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Public Health Agency of Canada will determine when the plant will resume work.
It has also been found that a class action lawsuit will be brought upon Maple Leaf – lawyer Tony Merchant at the Merchant Law Group and 300 consumers are ready to fall under three categories: those who claim to have suffered physical illness or death, those who have suffered financial losses due to being forced to return ready-to-eat meats, and those who suffered mental distress from the nationwide recall. And although Canada has one of the safest food distribution and preparation systems in the world, it isn’t flawless and food poisoning and bacteria outbreaks will occur from time to time. Companies must have stricter regulations, protocols and faster response time when a problem arises. Many cases of this food poisoning could have possibly been prevented if Maple Leaf had recalled all of is products. Officials expect more cases and possibly more death, a continuing tragedy.
If you require information from the company – contact their consumer affairs hotline at 1-800-568-5801.