Canadian food group Maple Leaf Foods has posted a third quarter loss as a result of the company's tainted-meat recall.

For the quarter ended 30 September, the net loss was CAD$12.9m ($10.6m), or 10 cents a share, compared with a profit of C$220.4m, or C$1.67, a year earlier.

Sales rose 3.3% to C$1.34bn.

Maple Leaf found a number of positive test results for listeria at the company's Bartor Road facility resulting in the closure of the facility on 20 August.

A listeriosis outbreak resulted in the death of at least 17 people and resulted in the recall of 191 Maple Leaf products sold across Canada.

"The headline for the third quarter was managing the unprecedented recall at our Toronto packaged meats plant and doing what was right to protect consumers and maintain public trust," said Michael McCain, president and CEO. "While the recall is complete, our actions had a very substantial near-term impact.

"In other areas of our business, results improved considerably and as expected we are starting to see material benefits from the restructuring of our protein operations. Our focus through the remainder of 2008 will be on stabilising our business and continuing to restore confidence, including implementing an enhanced food safety programme that will be among the best in North America."