From The Editor: What’s Next?

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Hamburger meat; spinach; carrot juice; tomatoes; luncheon meats; mushrooms; cheese ‒sthe list of tainted food products grows on a regular basis. And as it grows, consumer confidence in the safety of Canada’s food supply continues to plummet.

Hamburger meat; spinach; carrot juice; tomatoes; luncheon meats; mushrooms; cheese ‒sthe list of tainted food products grows on a regular basis. And as it grows, consumer confidence in the safety of Canada’s food supply continues to plummet.

The latest food safety issue to grab the nation’s attention is the listeriosis outbreak. It surfaced in a nursing home in Toronto in July and spread across the country. By August 23, the Maple Leaf Foods plant in North York,Ont. found itself in the eye of a storm (see story on pg. 5). The outbreak caught the multi-billion-dollar, 100-year-old company by surprise, causing a flurry of concern and controversy. To date, 15 people have died (13 in Ontario, one in Alberta and one in B.C.) as a result of the outbreak. All told, there have been 42 confirmed listeriosis cases linked to Maple Leaf products, and there was an additional death in Quebec as a result of listeriosis found in cheese. The Toronto-based meat supplier was forced to recall more than 220 packaged meats from its plant, representingmore than $20million worth of product ‒s the largest recall in Canadian history.

The finger of blame is pointing in all directions ‒s from Canada’s food-safety inspection process to the hygiene and cleanliness of the food processing plant and its staff, to the time it took various health authorities to make the link between the luncheon meat and the outbreak. But despite the ensuing brouhaha, Michael McCain, president of Maple Leaf Foods, has been praised for the manner in which he handled the situation, taking full responsibility for the sale and distribution of the tainted meat. “It’s our accountability that has been breached…not the regulators or the Canadian food safety systems,” McCain said. “It’s our job to fix that, and that’s the action plan we’re putting into place.”

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In the end, it appears the blame was not his alone to shoulder ‒s the source of the outbreak was eventually determined to be a Formax food slicer. The equipment supplier is said to have handled 2.3 billion kilograms of meat over the last 13 years with no incident. But there’s always a first time. And in the case of food safety, even one time is one too many. McCain’s words and actions during this difficult time should serve as the best possible lesson on the importance of food safety (and crisis management), which is clearly the most crucial industry issue of our day. It also underlines the importance of having all stages of the food cycle accountable ‒s from farm to fork and everything in between, including the equipment used to prepare food and menu items, and ultimately, the governments that mandate public health inspection. Simply put, it’s a matter of life and death.


This month’s issue marks our 40th anniversary edition. To highlight this milestone, we chronicled the past four decades through a retrospective piece that celebrates the people, trends and issues that have made this industry truly special. What makes this achievement even more remarkable is the relationship we’ve forged with readers and advertisers alike. Together we have helped propel unprecedented growth in this industry, characterized by the boundless creativity and energy of so many individuals and companies.

As a way to celebrate and mark this anniversary, we spent the past several months working on a redesign of ourmagazine. Spearheaded by our awardwinning art director David Heath, we are happy to present a bold and authoritative new cover logo as well as a refreshing new design. The new look will support the strength of our editorial pages in a modern and crisp fashion.We hope you approve.

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Rosanna Caira
Rosanna Caira is the editor and publisher of Kostuch Media’s Foodservice and Hospitality, and Hotelier magazines. In her capacity as editor of Canada’s two leading hospitality publications, Rosanna directs the editorial and graphic content of both publications, and is responsible for the editorial vision of the magazines, its five websites as well as the varied tertiary products including e-newsletters, supplements and special projects. In addition to her editorial duties, Rosanna also serves as publisher of the company, directing the strategic development of the Sales and Marketing, Production and Circulation departments. Rosanna is the face of the magazines, representing the publications at industry functions and speaking engagements. She serves on various committees and Boards, including the Board of Directors of the Canadian Hospitality Foundation. She is a recipient of the Ontario Hostelry’s Gold Award in the media category. In 2006, Rosanna was voted one of the 32 most successful women of Italian heritage in Canada. Rosanna is a graduate of Toronto’s York University, where she obtained a BA degree in English literature.

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