Updated: 2008-09-01 06:25
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BEIJING -- Chinese authorities have stepped up inspection and quarantine measures on meat products imported from a Canadian company involved in a fatal bacterial outbreak, said China's quality watchdog on Sunday.
Nine people in Canada had been confirmed of dying from listeriosis caused by contaminated meat products of Maple Leaf Foods, Canada's biggest food company, as of Friday, according to Canadian health officials.
The company's Toronto plant 97B, where the pollution happened, had never sold products to China or obtained licenses to, while Canada had halted China-bound exports from the company's other related facilities, said the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in a statement.
"We would closely watch the situation and take timely measures to keep the tainted products out for the safety of Chinese consumers," said the administration.
The Canadian company has closed down its Toronto factory and issued a recall of more than 270 products after a consumer died from eating its tainted cooked meat on August 20.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there were 29 confirmed cases of the outbreak strain in the country and 35 cases under investigation as of Friday.
Listeriosis can cause flu-like symptoms, such as a stiff neck, headache, nausea and fever. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are at greatest risk of being infected.