Michael McCain whines some more

“All food plants and supermarkets have some amount of listeria.” If that is so, then why don’t your products have warning labels saying, “Listeria is everywhere, don’t feed my deli meats to pregnant women and old people. They may die.”

http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu
November 10, 2008

Michael McCain whines some more
Doug Powell

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Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, whose products killed at least 20 people, didn’t like the coverage in the Toronto Star over the weekend – those weekends when McCain is, according to e-mails, usually at his Georgian Bay cottage.

So Mr. McCain wrote a letter to the Toronto Star that was published this morning. He says,

“Within hours of being notified by the CFIA of a positive test for listeria monocytogenes (sic – should be Listeria), products were recalled by way of a news release issued to alert consumers.”

As I’ve said before, holding yourself and your company to the CFIA standard is really going for the lowest common denominator. Many people were already dead and dying. CFIA may have a standard – and it’s impossible to know because CFIA won’t come clean on when evidence is sufficient to go public – of issuing a recall once a positive is found, As Globe and Mail reporter Andre Picard wrote on Sept. 11, 2008,

“People started dying in June, and it took until mid-August to trace the problem to the plant. On Aug. 13, when the Canadian Food Inspection Agency was in the plant looking for the source of listeria monocytogenes, Maple Leaf started warning distributors to stop shipping some meats. But nobody told the public to stop eating them.”

And once again, Mr. McCain you say that listeria is everywhere.

“All food plants and supermarkets have some amount of listeria.”

If that is so, then why don’t your products have warning labels saying, “Listeria is everywhere, don’t feed my deli meats to pregnant women and old people. They may die.”

My pregnant wife is married to someone who has a PhD in food science. So she never ate McCain’s contaminated meat. I know a few other PhDs in food science who have told me the same thing. But shouldn’t other people have access to the same information? After all, listeria is everywhere. McCain, what would you advise a pregnant daughter or daughter-in-law, now that you’ve “learned more in the past three weeks about (food safety) than I have ever learned before in my lifetime.”

McCain concludes his letter to the Star by saying,

“Referencing the company as ‘slow to respond’ is absurd. I am disappointed with the absence of frequently communicated facts from both the CFIA and Maple Leaf in the story.”

Dude, you must pay over $100K for your communications thingies. Shouldn’t they at least be able to write a grammatically correct sentence? Who or what are these “frequently communicated facts?”

Then work on something that is actually compelling.

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http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/blog/139898/08/11/10/michael-mccain-whines-some-more


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