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Recalled wieners were quarantined: Maple Leaf

Hot dogs caught by Maple Leaf Foods’ listeria net were accidentally shipped anyway from a Hamilton processing plant, leading to a relatively small product recall, the company said Tuesday.

The recall is for 450-gram packages of Shopsy’s Deli Fresh All Beef frankfurters (product code 20730, UPC 6487520730, best before April 22 and 23) and Maple Leaf Hot Dogs Original (product code 22356, UPC 6310022356, best before April 23). The Hamilton plant number is “611.”

In all, the recall affected 1,100 cases of wieners, the company said, of which “approximately 60 per cent” never left a Maple Leaf distribution centre and only 13 per cent made it to the store level.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, in a separate recall announcement late Tuesday, said the product in question had been distributed in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Of all the recalled products, “over 75 per cent” are now within the company’s control and the balance is expected to be completed by noon Wednesday, the company said in a release Tuesday.

Maple Leaf said its listeria net covers all species of the bacteria, not just the one, Listeria monocytogenes, that “has any potential to impact human health” as was the case in Maple Leaf’s major product recall from a Toronto plant last summer, which in turn led to these new screening protocols.

The Hamilton screening and wiener recall are the result of “an extremely conservative approach, as it treats any positive listeria test result with the highest level of corrective actions,” the company said.

CFIA added in a separate release that it had not yet detected Listeria monocytogenes in the recalled wieners but added that testing would be done to find out which strain of listeria is present.

But as low as the risk may be, and although no cases of illness have been reported by consumers to either Maple Leaf or CFIA, Maple Leaf advised anyone who may have bought these hot dogs not to consume them.

“Due to human error, a small quantity of wieners produced at the Hamilton plant that were quarantined under these routine enhanced procedures was inadvertently shipped to distribution centres and customers in Eastern Canada,” the company said Tuesday.

“Unlike other situations, this event occurred as a direct result of human error and did not uphold our stringent industry leading protocols,” CEO Michael McCain said in a release, adding that the risk in this case “was always low and would not be detected by the vast majority of others in the industry.”

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