The consequences of a food poisoning outbreak

If a serious outbreak of food poisoning can be traced to a meat product then there will be large amounts of negative publicity for:

  • the meat industry in general
  • the specific meat product for example salami or hamburger mince
  • the meat processor responsible.

This will result in:

  • a general decrease in meat consumption
  • a marked decrease in sales of the particular product
  • litigation
  • serious problems for the processor responsible, with the processor going out of business almost immediately in some cases.

Food safety is everybody’s business in the meat industry because all our jobs are dependent on consumers trusting meat processors to produce meat products free from contamination.

In 2008 a Meat Processing plant in Canada, Maple Leaf Foods instituted a nationwide recall  as the food-borne illness known as listeriosis was linked to the plant.  The outbreak killed 23 people and sickened hundreds more.  Maple Leaf Foods paid about $25 million in 2009 to settle a series of class-action lawsuits stemming from the crisis.