Maple Leaf Foods Inc. has established an independent advisory council of food safety experts to provide ongoing reviews of the company’s food safety strategy. In its first year, the committee will focus on making additions and modifications to Maple Leaf’s food safety program, evaluating emerging food safety risks in the industry and improving employee education and training.

Advisory council members are:

  • Harvey Anderson, director of the program in food safety, nutrition and regulatory affairs at the University of Toronto
  • Colin Dennis, retired director general of the Campden BRI food research center in the United Kingdom
  • Mansel Griffiths, director of the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety and chair of the masters program in food safety at the University of Guelph, Ontario
  • R. Bruce Tompkin, a microbiologist with more than 45 years in the food processing industry and one of the developers of the Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) food safety management system
  • John Weisgerber, former director of quality for a major North American meat processor with nearly 40 years experience in quality and food safety management

"The primary mandate of the council is to challenge the status quo of Maple Leaf's food safety program so we continue to raise the bar ever higher," said Randy Huffman, the company’s chief food safety officer.

In August 2008, Maple Leaf was hit by a recall of more than 220 product lines when the Canadian government identified one of its factories as the source of a listeria outbreak that sickened at least 26 people, according to The New York Times. At the time, company leaders estimated that the recall would cost the company more than CAN$20M.

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