Yeah, Don't Eat Deli Meat...

Canada says 12 people have died after eating listeria-contaminated meats from Maple Leaf Foods. So far there have been 26 confirmed cases of listeriosis and another 29 suspected cases. Reuters has the latest details:

Maple Leaf has said it's unlikely it will be able to determine how its meat was contaminated, explaining that the listeria bacterium is common and pervasive.

"It's very, very, very difficult, if not impossible, to pinpoint a cause," Chief Financial Officer Michael Vels told analysts on Monday before the latest health announcement.

"I don't know how important that is to consumers. I think our perspective is what's more important is we let them know what's going on and we take swift and conservative action to safeguard their health," Vels said.

Maple Leaf is double-checking procedures at all of its 23 plants but has no reason to believe any other products are at risk of contamination, he said.

Reimbursing customers for returned products, cleaning the plant and other direct expenses will cost the company C$20 million before taxes, Vels said.

Maple Leaf Foods CEO and President, Michael McCain, offered this video apology on YouTube: Message from Maple Leaf Foods regarding Listeria Recall.

Now, let’s get down to business. Don’t eat cold cuts. They’re beyond gross. In fact, similar foods like sausage and hotdogs make Dr. Fuhrman’s list of the MOST unhealthy foods. Also, Dr. Fuhrman suggests NOT eating deli meat if you’re pregnant; so does The New York Times.

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Steve - August 27, 2008 3:40 PM

Hi Gerry. Although I am much better now, it's scary just how much of that stuff I have eaten in the past. This company has a plant just a few miles down the road from me, so it sure hits close to home.

Joe Fitzpatrick - August 27, 2008 9:52 PM

Thanks for covering this issue Gerry. I meant to send you an email suggesting that you make a post about it.

Early in the crisis, a 'health expert' on national television recommended that for the next month or so, Canadians should avoid consumption of deli meat. As though it was a good idea before, or ever will be in future.

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