OTTAWA (AP) -- The head of the Canadian meat company linked to a deadly bacterial outbreak said Sunday that the Toronto plant at the center of the outbreak may reopen as soon as Tuesday.
Maple Leaf Foods CEO Michael McCain told reporters Sunday that efforts to sanitize the facility were going well, and the plant could reopen, pending test results.
"We have an unwavering commitment to keeping our food safe with the standards that go well beyond regulatory requirements," he said. "But this week, our best efforts failed and for that, we are deeply sorry."
The outbreak has resulted in 21 confirmed cases of listeriosis, including four deaths. Of the deaths, listeriosis was found to be the cause in three cases and a contributing factor in the remaining case.
Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning that can be dangerous to the elderly, newborns, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions. Symptoms include fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Maple Leaf Foods has launched a widespread recall of many of its products, including everything made at the company's Toronto plant.
McCain also said Sunday the recall will cost the company an estimated $20 million -- 10 times more than was previously estimated.