Revise listeriosis report, feds tell ONTARIO official***
Posted: April 23rd, 2009 - 8:38pm
OTTAWA -- The heads of three federal agencies pivotal to last summer's listeriosis crisis want a damning report by Ontario's top public health official "clarified and corrected."
The most senior officials at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada demanded the revisions in a recent letter to Dr. David Williams, Ontario's acting chief medical officer of health.
"We note that the document contains a number of statements which should be clarified and corrected for the public record," says the letter, dated April 20.
The letter is co-signed by CFIA president Carole Swan, chief public health officer David Butler-Jones and Health Canada deputy minister Morris Rosenberg.
They were not immediately available Thursday to comment. A call to Williams' office was not immediately returned.
Williams' report, released last Friday, wrapped the knuckles of federal and provincial health authorities for failing to work together during the outbreak.
Twenty-one people died and hundreds more fell ill after eating contaminated deli meats from a Maple Leaf Foods plant in Toronto.
The letter says Toronto public health officials hampered the investigation by not including enough identifying information on food samples collected from Toronto hospitals and nursing homes that tested positive for listeria.
"We share your frustration with the length of time over which recalls took place," the letter says.
Williams also noted that almost a month elapsed between the first listeriosis death last summer and a widespread recall of suspect Maple Leaf deli meats.
The letter suggests that criticism is unfair.