chapter  11
Accountability
Pages 12

The first hints of trouble arrived at headquarters on August 7, 2008, when a distributor for Maple Leaf Foods  – the biggest supplier of fresh and processed meats to Canadian retail outlets – called in a report.1 A public health official had been in touch with the distributor about several of the company’s sliced meat products, and it appeared that an investigation was in the offing. Within the week, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) told Maple Leaf that it was investigating three meat products that had been packed in the company’s Toronto plant. The company told its distributors that the CFIA was investigating illnesses that might possibly be related to its products. The three products were put on hold  – with orders to neither ship nor sell – and Maple Leaf prepared for a recall.