Business Ethics Maple Leaffoods
Reaction Paper I-Maple Leaf Foods
In Aug 2012, a Toronto Maple Leaf Foods (“the Company”) plant was confirmed as being involved in the outbreak of the food-borne illness, caused by the bacterium Listeria. A day later, Maple Leaf upgraded a precautionary recall of 23 of its products in previous week to all 220 packaged meats from the plant at the Bartor’s Road, which has been shut down. The company has estimated the recall will directly cost it at least $20 million, with further costs expected due to lost sales and reputation damage. Since the outbreak of Listeria bacterium, 22 people died and there were 57 total confirmed cases of illness caused by Listeria 1. Although the Listeria outbreak was described by the Company’s CEO as “the
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Apparently it is profitable for the Company. Also, the action is legal as Maple Leaf Foods meets all the regulatory requirements under the federal Meat Inspection Act and got satisfactory marks for complying with the government’s inspection and testing tasks. However, I believe reducing the sodium without taking stricter controls on its food safety procedures is not fair and right because it exposes the vulnerable group of people to greater risks which are even lethal for them. The listeria outbreak could have been prevented if the company had taken stricter controls such as performing trend analysis and building up escalation process regarding the repeated occurrence of the bacteria. The company paid a heavy price for this accident as it not only caused huge damage to its financial performance but also to its reputation and corporate image. Obviously, one would agree that this is also against the long term sustainable development of the Company. Therefore, the Company was unethical in in not adopting stricter controls and enforcing its existing food safety procedures when producing special products for a special population.
Since the outbreak of the Listeria, the company has made various efforts to remediate the crisis. It immediately recalled the contaminated products and has made the decision to expand its product recall to include all production from the Bartor Road facility. It created a new position-Chief