Shoppers are keeping their trust close to home after the most recent listeria scare from a major food producer.
More than 26,000 packages of Maple Leaf hot dogs shipped to Alberta and Eastern Canada were recalled earlier this week, after a warning they may be contaminated with listeriosis bacteria.
Though the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says no illnesses were reported, local food industry experts say a scare alone is enough to keep shoppers local.
“It seems that the impact on the local industry is positive,” said Growing Food Security in Alberta spokeswoman Susan Roberts. “There’s less question and your relationship with food is quite different when you know where it’s coming from.”
Stawnichy’s sausage producer Justin Barbour said that when at least 20 people died from a listeriosis outbreak last year, concerned customers began questioning how and where their meat is produced.
“We’re not owned by a big corporation, and never will be,” he said. “That’s why people continue to support us.”
A Maple Leaf Foods Inc. spokeswoman said Thursday that all the affected products had been recalled, and that none made it to store shelves.
Maple Leaf recently reached a $27-million settlement awarded to plaintiffs after last year’s outbreak.