The federally-appointed Commission of Inquiry into the extensive outbreak of listeriosis has made 57 recommendations to the government of Canada to prevent a reoccurrence.
During the summer of 2008, an extensive outbreak of the foodborne infection occurred, resulting in 22 deaths in addition to extensive illness among consumers of sliced turkey meat derived from a Toronto plant operated by Maple Leaf Foods.
The source of infection was traced to two meat slicers that were improperly decontaminated, allowing adulteration of ready-to-cook products with viable Listeria monocytogenes. The chairperson of the Commission, Sheila Weatherill, noted the shortage of food-safety inspectors and failure to follow up on company reports in 2007 and 2008 that Listeria was present in the plant. The recommendations included improved training for food inspectors and designating the Public Health Agency to be the principal responder to future outbreaks of foodborne disease.