Canadian Packaging

Maple Leaf Foods listeria victims get pay-out

Legal system delays resolved allowing Maple Leaf Foods to provide compensation to victims.


February 9, 2012
by Canadian Packaging Staff

Three-and-a-half years after a massive recall of food products due to a deadly bacterial outbreak of listeriosis, on February 3, 2012, Maple Leaf Foods was able to mail all checks owed to participants of a class-action suit against the Canadian foods processor.

On August 2008, Maple Leaf Foods issued a recall of 243 types of ready-to-eat products contaminated with listeriosis that were supplied to grocery stores, restaurants and cafeterias across Canada.

Reports indicate that lines eight and nine at Maple Leaf Foods’ North York Bartor Road plant may have been where the outbreak originated.

Listeriosis symptoms include flu-like symptoms, nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, constipation and fever—which can appear within in one to 60 days after eating a contaminated food product.

During the outbreak, 23 people died, with a total of 57 confirmed cases of illness caused by listeriosis.

A class-action suit against Maple Leaf Foods was begun in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Albert and Saskatchewan in March of 2009 whereby the food giant would be required to pay-out between $25- to 27-million in damages for those suffering physical symptoms as well as psychological trauma.

All persons who consumed or purchased the recalled products manufactured between January 1 and August 31, 2008 were eligible to make a claim.

While the actual lawsuit was settled in December of 2008 with Maple Leaf Foods agreeing to a $27-million compensation package, payment was delayed within the legal courts as proper verification of health claims was required for all claimants.