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Maple Leaf earns my confidence

I think if there is
any organization, in my memory, that has handled a bad situation well it has to
be Maple Leaf Foods. They don’t need to be made heroes, but in my view they’ve
handled the whole tainted meat issue with compassion and professionalism.

This issue that
erupted in August 2008 with the discovery of some cold packaged meat products

containing listeriosis could have been marred or made ugly by all kinds of
denial, and “no comment” comments.

But right from the
get-go you could tell this was a company that wanted to accept responsibility,
first of all to stop the spread of the tainted products that ultimately caused
56 people to become ill and played a role in the death of 20 people, and then
to clean up what ever problem there was in their meat processing line and make
sure it never happened again.

Maybe I just watch too
many Law and Orders, but often enough I run into companies and even industry
associations that figure the best policy in dealing with a negative subject is
either to deny it or at least ignore it. Play dumb and the problem will go

I don’t know if I

ever lost faith in Maple Leaf products during this whole affair. I am sure
some people did. My 23-year-old son, for example, who is a bit of an odd ball – when it comes to food choices –  anyway, won’t eat any cold meat products now unless they are fried to ‘kill the
bacteria’. But, if I ever was a bit leery about Maple Leaf products last fall,
I certainly now have every confidence that they are producing completely safe
food products.

And a large part of
that has to do with their belief in “honesty is the best policy.”

About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.



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