I was excited and honoured to be invited to attend a roundtable event this past week at Maple Leaf Foods to discuss the terrifying and tragic Listeria outbreak that occurred in August of 2008. This was an event that affected so many lives, impacted the way people think and the way they grocery shop for their families. As a Mother of two, this was an opportunity I could not pass up.
What did I expect?
Food, some spin, and some swag.
What did I get.
Food, the truth, honest answers, some swag and a giveaway.
As I entered the building in Mississagua Ontario I was met by the PR people of Matchstick, who had helped pull this event together, then encouraged to mingle with the other bloggers attending the event.
Plenty of food and bloggers from the Toronto area were circulating and chatting. The Natural Selections Turkey on top of lightly toasted baguette with brie was a hit! (by the way, this is also my new fave luncheon meat)
Not only were the Appetizers and bloggers circulating, but so were the Maple Leaf Food Executives! I had the distinct pleasure of meeting President and CEO Michael McCain and Sharon Beals, Senior VP, Food Safety & Quality Assurance.
After a short time we were ushered to our tables for dinner.
Mr. Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods got things started with a heartfelt speech regarding the events of August 2008 and Maple Leafs ownership of the Listeria outbreak. He spoke of what happened in August of 2008. Listeria took 22 lives. What is the company doing now? What kind of parameters are in place to prevent such a thing from ever happening again? Maple Leaf Foods has created a Food Safety Pledge. Mr.McCain spoke in detail about Maple Leafs commitment to this new food safety pledge. Their promise to commit to being a global leader in the world of food safety. To continue to commit to training and education. To uphold the highest standard of testing. To share their knowledge with the industry, government and consumers. To place consumers first.
They pledge to do these things by investing in people, bringing on experts and practicing discipline in their company.
Following a lively question and answer period we were treated to a dinner of Maple Leaf products prepared by Chef John Placko, The Director of Culinary.
Now I think I should back track a bit and say I was impressed to see the CEO, the Director of Culinary, and the Senor VP of Food & Safety there to speak to us. Getting the word out about their Food Safety Pledge truly means something to these people, and to this company. The passions with which these people spoke, the commitments they have made, this is a group of people who stand behind their company, who believe in their product and who want to make sure the consumer knows we are important to them.
What we can do…
As consumers there are a few things we can do to keep ourselves safe from Listeria.
-wash our hands
-wash our reusable grocery bags
-store meat in the bottom of the refrigerator (umm I was not doing this!)
-shop your grocery store from the inside out! Pick up your produce and meat last to keep it cold.
-use a meat thermometer to make sure your meat is cooked!
I came home and had a peek at the Food Safety Plan Checklist. It’s a good read!
What I think….
The Listeria outbreak of 2008 was a tragedy resulting in the deaths of 22 people. Maple Leaf Foods is taking responsibility for this and implementing their Food Safety Pledge with the intent of being one of the world leaders in food safety.
Maple Leaf Foods is a company that cares about the production of it’s food from the beginning of it’s life cycle right through packaging to shelving.
Maple Leaf Foods is a company that truly believes in investing in people. Ongoing training is an integral part of their plan to remain at the forefront of food safety.
I absolutely would recommend Maple Leaf Foods and will purchase their products for my family.
What I have for you….
Courtesy of Maple Leaf Foods, a giveaway.
A thermal grocery bag to help keep that food cool when you shop!
A Maple Leaf Apron, Meat thermometer, pen and coupons for approximately $20.00 of Maple Leaf Products!
(1 Free box of New Prime Frozen Meat Products, 1 Free Package of New Natural Selections Deli Meats, $5.00 off a Purchase of New Natural Selections Deli Meats)
You must live in Canada and tell me about your favourite Maple Leaf Product or one you think you might like to try!
Easy Bonus Entries:
1. Follow me publicly on Goggle or tell me that you already do.
2. Follow me on Twitter @SassyModernMom or tell me that you already do, and give this giveaway a tweet. Leave your twitter name! You can tweet once every 24 hours. Just cut and paste:
Canadians! Win a Gift Package from Maple Leaf Foods. #mapleleafpledge @SassyModernMom #GiveAway
3. Give me a new Vote at “Top Mommy Blogger” by following this link:
(Don’t worry I’ll know if you voted cause my number will creep up)
You can do this once a day all week, then come on back and tell me you did!
4. “like” me on my new little fanpage. I promise an extra entry and extra love to all who do!
Again, PLEASE…leave separate comments for each entry and make sure I can contact you!! Leave me a valid e-mail address!
Contest is open to residents of Canada. Closes Friday June 11th.
The winner will be picked by Random.org and will have 72 hours to respond once they are contacted or a new winner will be drawn.
* I received similar product in exchange for hosting this giveaway. No monetary compensation was given for this post. I am paying for shipping. The opinions in this post are my honest opinions and have not been influenced by the reception of said product.