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The Canadian Press
TORONTO -- Maple Leaf Foods said Monday it's bracing for a decline in sales on top of a $20-million product recall after a deadly outbreak of Listeria
"Tragically our products have been linked to illnesses and loss of life."
The massive recall was launched after Listeria bacteria was detected on some of the goods produced at one of the company's Toronto plants. Six people have died and six other deaths are under investigation as a result of the outbreak. The deaths are part of a total of 26 cases with confirmed links to the outbreak.
Listeria is an opportunistic pathogen: it is most prevalent in the elderly, pregnant mothers, and AIDS patients. With improved healthcare leading to a growing elderly population and extended life expectancies for AIDS patients, physicians are more likely to encounter this otherwise rare infection (only 7 per 1,000,000 healthy people are infected with virulent Listeria each year).