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Listeria Blog

Surveillance & Analysis on Listeria News & Outbreaks

Green Beans With Listeria

General Mills recalled a “limited quantity” of Cascadian Farm frozen green beans after a package of the product tested positive for listeria.

No illnesses have been reported, General Mills said. Listeria is a bacteria that causes listeriosis, a serious infection with symptoms including fever and gastrointestinal problems.

General Mills, based in suburban Minneapolis, said the voluntary recall involves 10-ounce bags of Cascadian Farm Cut Green Beans with either of two “better if used by dates” stamped on the package: “10APR2016” and “11APR2016.” The recalled products were distributed nationwide.

The company didn’t specify the quantity of the recall in pounds. Cascadian Farm is a major brand in the organic food market.

General Mills said the recall “is being issued as a precaution after one package of finished product tested positive for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes.” The recalled product was produced and packaged over two days in March 2014.

Cold Smoked Salmon Recalled Over Listeria

cold_smoked_salmonThe California Department of Public Health is reporting that cold smoked salmon is being recalled for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

There is no word on whether or not any illnesses have been reported. Illnesses caused by this bacteria can take up to 70 days to appear.

The recalled products are Cold Smoked Salmon Deli Trays and Cold Smoked Salmon Trim produced by Certified Smoked Fish of Gardena, California. The lot number is #188 and other codes are CS300 on the trays, and CST50 on the trim. The product was produced on 7/7/2015.

You can see the stores where the salmon was sold by visiting the CDPH web site.

More Sprouts Recalled Over Listeria

Good Seed Inc. of Springfield, VA, is recalling all packages of soybean sprouts and mung bean sprouts because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The company announced a similar recall last month, also for potential Listeria contamination.

The most recent problem was discovered through surveillance monitoring coordinated by the Virginia Rapid Response Team (RRT), Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and testing by the Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services, which revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the product.

The following products are being recalled by the firm:

  • 1-lb. bags of soybean sprouts in clear plastic bags labeled “GOODSEED Soy Bean Sprouts” “Keep Refrigerated” with a UPC Code of “21111 10035″ produced on or after May 8, 2015.
  • 1-lb. bags of mung bean sprouts in clear plastic bags labeled “GOODSEED Mung Bean Sprouts” “Keep Refrigerated” with a UPC code of “21111 20136″ produced on or after May 8, 2015.
  • 2-lb. bags of soybean sprouts in clear plastic bags labeled “GOODSEED Soy Bean Sprouts” “Keep Refrigerated” with a UPC Code of “21112 58772″ produced on or after May 8, 2015.
  • 2-lb. bags of mung bean sprouts in clear plastic bags labeled “GOODSEED Mung Bean Sprouts” “Keep Refrigerated” with a UPC code of “21111 25871″ produced on or after May 8, 2015.
  • 10-lb. bags of soybean sprouts in black plastic bags labeled with a sticker “GOODSEED Soy Bean Sprouts” produced on or after May 8, 2015.
  • 10-lb. bags of mung bean sprouts in clear plastic bags labeled with a sticker “GOODSEED Mung Bean Sprouts” produced on or after May 8, 2015.

The recalled products were distributed to retail stores in Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey.

Smoked Andouille Sausage Recalled After Listeria Test

Shirks Meats of Dundee, NY, is recalling “Smoked Andouille Sausage” due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The recalled in-store packed “Smoked Andouille Sausage” comes in a clear plastic package with a date of 6-5-15 on it. Package sizes varied from 9-12 ounces. The “Smoked Andouille Sausage” was sold only from the retail location at 4342 John Green Rd. in Dundee, NY.

The recall was initiated after routine sampling by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and subsequent analysis of the product by New York State Food Laboratory personnel found Listeria monocytogenes present in the product.

Wisconsin Potato Salad Recalled Due To Listeria

A Wisconsin firm is voluntarily recalling its potato salad, due to the possibility of Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

The product was distributed to Jewel stores in the Chicago area and may have been sold at delicatessen counters between May 30 and June 9 under the brand name Garden Fresh Steakhouse Potato Salad. Jewel was notified by Garden-Fresh Foods of the possibility of Listeria monocytogenes contamination and, in an abundance of caution, voluntarily removed and destroyed any possibly affected product. The problem was identified through internal testing at Garden-Fresh as part of its robust testing protocols. No other Garden-Fresh products and no other Potato Salad sold in the delis at Jewel are involved in this recall.

There are no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of the recalled product.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. The organism can also cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Blue Bell Ice Cream Cuts Listeria Deal With Alabama

Blue Bell Creameries has signed a voluntary agreement with the Alabama Department of Public Health laying out a series of steps the company plans to take to control Listeria contamination before its products may legally be sold there again. The company has a plant in Sylacauga, AL, which is currently closed.

The Blue Bell agreement with Alabama health authorities states that the company will be:

  • Conducting root cause analyses to identify the potential for Listeria or actual sources;
  • Retaining an independent microbiology expert to help establish and review controls to prevent the future introduction of Listeria;
  • Notifying the Alabama Department of Public Health promptly of any presumptive positive test result for Listeria monocytogenes found in ingredients or finished product samples and providing the state agencies full access to all testing;
  • Ensuring that the company’s Pathogen Monitoring Program for Listeria in the plant environment outlines how the company will respond to presumptive positive tests for Listeria species, and,
  • Instituting a “test and hold” program to assure that products are safe before they are shipped or sold.

See FDA Inspection Reports of Sylacauga plant – One, Two, Three, Four, FiveSix and Seven.

Blue Bell Knowingly Sold Ice Cream From A Plant With Listeria

The three Blue Bell “483’s” – FDA Inspection Reports are here:

Broken Arrow, OK

Observation #1:  Failure to manufacture and package foods under conditions and controls necessary to minimize the potential for growth of microorganisms and contamination.

Observation #2:  Failure to perform microbial testing where necessary to identify sanitation failures and possible food contamination.

Observation #3:  The procedure used for cleaning and sanitizing of equipment and utensils has not been shown to provide adequate cleaning and sanitizing treatment.

Observation #4:  Failure to provide running water at a suitable temperature for cleaning equipment, utensils and food-packaging materials.

Observation #5:  The plant is not constructed in such a manner as to prevent drip and condensate from contaminating food, food-contact surfaces, and food-packaging materials.

Observation #6:  Employees did not wash and sanitize hands thoroughly in an adequate hand-washing facility after each absence from the work station and at any time their hands may have become soiled or contaminated.

Observation #7:  Failure to store cleaned and sanitized portable equipment in a location and manner which protects food-contact surfaces from contamination.

Observation #8:  All reasonable precaution are not taken to ensure that production procedures do not contribute contamination from any source.

Observation #9:  The design of equipment does not allow proper cleaning and maintenance.

Observation #10: Failure to hold foods which can support the rapid growth of undesirable microorganisms at a temperature that prevents the food from becoming adulterated.

Observation #11: Failure to have smoothly bonded or well maintained seams on food contact surfaces, to minimize accumulation of food particles and organic matter and the opportunity for growth of microorganisms.

Observation #12: Failure to take apart equipment as necessary to ensure thorough cleaning.

Brenham, TX

Observation #1: Failure to manufacture foods under conditions and controls necessary to minimize the potential for growth of microorganisms.

Observation #2: The procedure used for cleaning and sanitizing of equipment has not been shown to provide adequate cleaning and sanitizing treatment.

Observation #3: The plant is not constructed in such a manner as to prevent condensate from contaminating food and food-contact surfaces.

Observation #4: Failure to clean food-contact surfaces as frequently as necessary to protect against contamination of food.

Observation #5: Failure to wear beard covers in an effective manner.

Observation #6: Failure to maintain buildings in repair sufficient to prevent food from becoming contaminated.

Sylacauga, AL

Observation #1: Failure to perform microbial testing where necessary to identify possible food contamination.

Observation #2: Suitable outer garments are not worn that protect against contamination of food and food contact surfaces.

Observation #3: Failure to maintain food contact surfaces to protect food from contamination by any source, including unlawful indirect food additives.

Observation #4: The design and materials of equipment and utensils does not allow proper cleaning.

Observation #5: All reasonable precautions are not taken to ensure that production procedures do not contribute contamination from any source.

Observation #6: Employees did not wash and sanitize hands thoroughly in an adequate hand-washing facility at any time their hands may have become soiled or contaminated.

Observation #7: The plaint is not constructed in such a manner as to prevent condensate from contaminating food-contact surfaces.

Observation #8: Non food-contact equipment in manufacturing areas is not constructed so that it can be kept in a clean condition.

Listeria monocytogenes Prompts Sprout Recalls

Good Seed Inc. of Springfield, Virginia has issued a recall of soybean and mung bean sprouts for possible listeria contamination.

The company issued the recall on its one-, two- and ten-pound products produced on or after April 1.

The contamination was discovered after sampling by the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food Safety Program.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious, sometimes fatal, infections in people with weakened immune systems.

Healthy individuals may suffer from high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. In pregnant women, listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths.

Consumers who bought the soybean and mung bean sprouts in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey or North Carolina should return them to the store for a full refund.

This is the second recall for soybean sprouts from a company in Virginia.

On April 3, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a recall for soybean sprouts produced by Henry’s Farms Inc., in Woodford.

That recall was also due to listeria contamination for products produced on or after March 24 and sold in Virginia or Maryland.

Continue reading for a list of the Good Seed Inc. products that have been recalled:

  • 1-lb bags of soybean sprouts in clear plastic bags labeled “GOODSEED Soy Bean Sprouts” “Keep Refrigerated” with a UPC Code of “21111 10035” produced on or after April 1, 2015.
  • 2-lb bags of soybean sprouts in clear plastic bags labeled “GOODSEED Soy Bean Sprouts” “Keep Refrigerated” with a UPC Code of “21112 58772” produced on or after April 1, 2015.
  • 10-lb bags of soybean sprouts in black plastic bags labeled with a sticker “GOODSEED Soy Bean Sprouts” produced on or after April 1, 2015.
  • 1-lb bags of mung bean sprouts in clear plastic bags labeled “GOODSEED Mung Bean Sprouts” “Keep Refrigerated” with a UPC code of “21111 20136” produced on or after April 1, 2015.
  • 2-lb bags of mung bean sprouts in clear plastic bags labeled “GOODSEED Mung Bean Sprouts” “Keep Refrigerated” with a UPC code of “21111 25871” produced on or after April 1, 2015.
  • 10-lb bags of mung bean sprouts in clear plastic bags labeled with a sticker “GOODSEED Mung Bean Sprouts” produced on or after April 1, 2015.

Listeria Test Prompts Vegetable Recall

Greystone Foods, LLC voluntarily recalls Today’s Harvest Field Peas with Snaps, Silver Queen Corn, and Broccoli Florets with the sell by date 04/21/16 shipped to Publix Supermarkets warehouse in Lakeland, FL warehouse due to possible health risk.

Greystone Foods, LLC of Birmingham, Alabama is recalling any Today’s Harvest frozen Field Peas with Snaps, Broccoli Florets, and Silver Queen Corn with the sell by date of 04/21/16 because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes , an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Greystone Foods, LLC voluntarily recalls Today’s Harvest Field Peas with Snaps, Silver Queen Corn, and Broccoli Florets with the sell by date 04/21/16 shipped to Publix Supermarkets warehouse in Lakeland, FL warehouse due to possible health risk. To the best of our knowledge, none of these items left their warehouse. In an abundance of caution, Publix has decided to remove these items from their stores. No other grocers are involved in this recall.

These products come in 32 ounce clear plastic bags and are located in the freezer section of Publix. The sell by date of 04/21/16 is printed along the bottom seal of the bag in black ink.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The potential for contamination was noted after we were informed by our supplier that an area of their facility where the field peas with snaps were blended tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes on a non-food contact surface. All products involved in this recall were quickly identified and removed from commerce.

All Blue Bell Ice Cream Recalled

Case Count Update

As of April 21, 2015, a total of ten patients infected with several strains of Listeria monocytogenes were reported from four states: Arizona (1), Kansas (5), Oklahoma (1), and Texas (3). Illness onset dates ranged from January 2010 through January 2015. The patients with illness onsets ranging from 2010-2014 were identified through a retrospective review of the PulseNet database for DNA fingerprints that were similar to isolates collected from Blue Bell ice cream samples. Since the last update on April 8, 2015, two additional patients, one each from Arizona and Oklahoma, were confirmed to be a part of the outbreak by whole genome sequencing. All ten (100%) patients were hospitalized. Three deaths were reported from Kansas.

One additional isolate from a patient with listeriosis is undergoing further molecular laboratory testing to determine whether this illness may be related to this outbreak. Results of this testing will be reported once they are available. CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify any other ill persons that may be part of this outbreak.

Investigation Update

On April 20, 2015, Blue Bell Creameries voluntarily recalled all of its products currently on the market made at all of its facilities, including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and frozen snacks, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Blue Bell announced this recall after sampling by the company revealed that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream half gallons produced on March 17, 2015 and March 27, 2015 contained the bacteria. Listeria monocytogenes was previously found in other Blue Bell products. CDC recommends that consumers do not eat any Blue Bell brand products, and that institutions and retailers do not serve or sell them.