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Listeria Blog

Surveillance & Analysis on Listeria News & Outbreaks

Dirie Farm Raw Milk Consumers Warned of Listeria Test

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today warned consumers in Sullivan County and the surrounding area not to consume unpasteurized raw farm milk from the Richard Dirie Farm due to possible Listeria contamination.  The Dirie Farm is located at 1345 Shandelee Road, Livingston Manor, New York, 12758.

A sample of the milk, collected by an inspector from the department’s Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on April 7, 2015 was subsequently tested by the Department’s Food Laboratory and discovered to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

On April 9, 2015, the producer was notified of a preliminary positive test result. He volunteered to suspend raw milk sales until the sample results were confirmed.  Further laboratory testing, completed on April 15, 2015, confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the raw milk sample.

This is the second time in seven months that the state Department of Agriculture and Markets found the bacteria in the farm’s raw milk. It was also found in October, said owner Richard Dirie. But he says they were able to correct the problem – an issue with the water valve controlling the water’s temperature – fairly quickly.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, cancer patients, elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. People who are otherwise healthy may suffer only short-term, flu-like symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, Listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

It is important to note that raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization, which eliminates all pathogenic bacteria, including Listeria.

Listeria Outbreak Prompts Texas Warning

Multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes linked to Blue Bell Ice Cream; Recommendation to test patients at increased risk of invasive listeriosis who have compatible symptoms

Healthcare providers should test patients who have fever and other symptoms consistent with listeriosis, are at increased risk of invasive listeriosis, and may have been exposed to Listeria through a potentially contaminated product. Diagnostic testing should include cultures of blood and other specimens, such as cerebrospinal fluid, as indicated by the clinical presentation.

People at high risk for invasive listeriosis include pregnant women, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems. The incubation period for invasive Listeria infection is typically a few days to one month, but can be up to 70 days. Symptoms may include fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

Persons who have consumed any recalled Blue Bell Creameries products are at risk of exposure. Exact product descriptions and codes for recalled products can be found at http://cdn.bluebell.com/the_little_creamery/press_releases/broken-arrow-expands-recall.

Additional products not subject to the recall but made at the company’s Oklahoma facility might also potentially pose a risk. Blue Bell brand products made at the Oklahoma facility can be identified by checking for letters “O,” “P,” “Q,” “R,” “S,” and “T” following the ”code date” printed on the bottom of the product package.

DSHS is providing the accompanying CDC guidance document, “Suggested framework for medical management of people at elevated risk for invasive listeriosis who are exposed to Listeria monocytogenes,” as a resource for healthcare providers. Although the guidance document suggests stool culture as an option, it is important to note that stool testing for Listeria has not been evaluated as a screening tool for listeriosis. In general, it is not recommended for the diagnosis of listeriosis.

Healthcare providers and laboratories should promptly report confirmed listeriosis cases to their local health department or the Texas Department of State Health Services (Phone: 1-800-705-8868, Fax: 512-776-7616). All Listeria monocytogenes isolates should be sent to the DSHS laboratory.

Information about the Listeria outbreak linked to Blue Bell Ice Cream is available at:

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/outbreaks/ice-cream-03-15/index.html

FDA: http://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/Outbreaks/ucm438104.htm

DSHS: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/default.shtm

Hummus Recalled Over Listeria

ucm442105Today Sabra Dipping Co., LLC announced that it is voluntarily recalling approximately 30,000 cases of its Classic Hummus due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. This measure is limited to five SKUs of Classic Hummus sold nationwide.  To date, no other Sabra product is affected by this recall.

Listeria monocytogenes is 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, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

To date, there have been no reports indicating that these products have caused any illness.

The products being recalled are listed below and were distributed to retail outlets, including food service accounts and supermarkets, in the U.S. Consumers can find code and use by dates on the top of each package.

UPC/SKU Item Use by Dates Affected Areas
040822011143 / 300067 Sabra Classic Hummus 10 oz 3 059 Best Before/Meilleur Avant 2015 May 11
3 060 Best Before/Meilleur Avant 2015 May 15
US
040822014687 / 300074 Sabra Classic Hummus 30 oz 3 059 Best Before/Meilleur Avant 2015 May 11 US
040822342049 / 301216 Sabra Classic Hummus without Garnish 32oz 3 059 Best Before/Meilleur Avant 2015 May 11 US
040822017497 / 301290 Sabra Classic Hummus 17oz Six Pack 3 058 Best Before/Meilleur Avant 2015 May 11
3 059 Best Before/Meilleur Avant 2015 May 11
US
040822342209 / 301283 Hummus Dual Pack Classic/Garlic 23.5oz 3 058 Best Before/Meilleur Avant 2015 May 11 US

The potential for contamination was discovered when a routine, random sample collected at a retail location on March 30th, 2015 by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

Blue Bell Listeria Outbreak Expands to Kansas and Texas

According to the CDC, the outbreak now consists of two clusters of illnesses that are likely linked to Blue Bell brand ice cream products. The outbreak involves eight people infected with outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes; eight people are reported from Kansas (5) and Texas (3).

Cluster 1 consists of five patients reported from Kansas during January 2014 through January 2015 who were all hospitalized at a single hospital for unrelated problems before developing listeriosis. Of the four ill people for whom information is available on the foods eaten in the month before Listeria infection, all consumed milkshakes made at the hospital with a Blue Bell brand ice cream product called “Scoops.” Whole genome sequences of Listeria monocytogenes strains isolated from four of the patients were found to be highly related to sequences of Listeria strains isolated from “Scoops” and two other products made on the same line at the company’s Texas facility. These products were recalled by Blue Bell Creameries on March 13, 2015.

Cluster 2 consists of three patients reported from Texas during 2011 through 2014 who were all hospitalized for unrelated problems before developing listeriosis. Whole genome sequences of their Listeria monocytogenes strains were highly related to sequences of Listeria strains isolated from another Blue Bell ice cream product, 3 oz. institutional/food service chocolate ice cream cups made at the Oklahoma production facility. The cup products were recalled by Blue Bell Creameries on March 23, 2015.

Three additional patients with listeriosis during 2010 through 2012 whose isolates have PFGE patterns similar to those of others in the cluster have been identified in the PulseNet database; further molecular laboratory testing is under way to determine whether these illnesses may be related to this outbreak.

Listeria Recall – More Blue Bell Ice Cream

DSC_0019Blue Bell Creameries is expanding its recall of products that were produced in the Broken Arrow, Okla., plant to include Banana Pudding Ice Cream pints, which tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, and additional products manufactured on the same line.

These items have the potential to be harmful to 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, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The products being recalled are distributed to retail outlets, including food service accounts, convenience stores and supermarkets in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming.

On April 3, 2015, Blue Bell Creameries voluntarily suspended operations at its Broken Arrow, Okla., plant to thoroughly inspect the facility due to a 3oz. institutional/food service chocolate cup that tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes and was immediately withdrawn from all outlets. That product was only available to Blue Bell’s food service and institutional accounts and was recalled along with 3oz. vanilla and strawberry institutional/food service cups.

On April 4, 2015, out of an abundance of caution, Blue Bell began working with retail outlets to remove all products produced in Broken Arrow, Okla., from their service area.  These products are identified with a code date ending in O, P, Q, R, S or T located on the bottom of the carton and they are a part of the voluntary market withdrawal.

On April 7, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified Blue Bell that the Banana Pudding Ice Cream pint tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. This pint was produced in the Broken Arrow, Okla., plant on February 12, 2015. Subsequently Blue Bell is recalling all products made on that one particular production line, from February 12, 2015 – March 27, 2015.  These products were produced on that same line and have a code date ending in either S or T.

Costco Canada Recalls Chicken

Chickenrecall1Costco is recalling roasted chicken salad bearing the Kirkland Signature brand due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued the recall on Friday for products carrying a best-before dates up to and including April 3, 2015.

The products were sold in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

CFIA says recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store.

Foods contaminated with Listeria may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick, according to CIFA.

Consuming Listeria-contaminated food can lead to listeriosis, which can cause a high fever, severe headache, a stiff neck and nausea. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk

No illnesses have been reported.

Third Listeria Recall for La Terra Fina Spinach Dip

La Terra Fina of Union City, CA, has issued a third recall to include another spinach dip product at risk of being contaminated with Listeria. Information on the latest recalled product follows:

Product Description UPC Code Best By Date Retailer Region
10-ounce Chunky Spinach Artichoke & Parmesan Dip & Spread 6-40410-51327-3 4/5/15 Midwest, West Coast & Rocky Mountain regions

With its latest recall notice, the company reiterated that no illnesses have been connected to any of its products. However, due to the difficulty of tracing an illness back to a specific food source, it is impossible to say whether or not any illnesses have occurred.

Product label for Chunky Spinach Artichoke & Parmesan Dip & Spread:

la-terra-fina-third-recall

Details on the first and second recalls below:

After recently recalling its spinach dip sold in Bay Area Costco stores over Listeria concerns, La Terra Fina of Union City, CA, is expanding its recall to include additional spinach artichoke dip products:

Recalled Products

Product Description Item # UPC Code Best By Date Retailer Region
Spinach Artichoke & Parmesan Dip made with Greek Yogurt 31-oz. tub 379903 6-40410-51338-9 4/14/15
4/20/15
Costco – NW Region
Chunky Spinach Artichoke & Parmesan Dip 31-oz. tub 407600 6-40410-51193-4 3/31/15
4/5/15
4/29/15
Costco – MW, NE & SE Regions
Chunky Spinach Artichoke & Parmesan Dip 31-oz. tub 4300193 6-40410-51193-4 3/28/15
4/29/15
Smart & Final-West Coast

 

Following its voluntary recall of Organic Spinach Dip this past Friday, La Terra Fina is expanding the recall to include these products that were manufactured on the same production equipment on the same day as the Organic Spinach Dip and are being recalled out of an abundance of caution.

The recalled products were distributed to Costco stores in the Northwest, Midwest, Northeast and Southeast regions and Smart & Final stores along the West Coast only.

Only products with the “best by” dates above are being recalled. The “best by” date for each product can be found on the side of the container. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged to discard them or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Product labels:

spinachartichoke-1 spinachartichoke-2

More Sprouts Recalled

Henry’s Farm Inc. of Woodford, VA, is recalling all packages of soybean sprouts because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Henry's Farm Natto Soybean Sprouts labelThe following products are being recalled by the firm.

  1. 1-lb. bags of soybean sprouts in clear plastic bags labeled “Natto Soybean Sprouts” “Keep Refrigerated” with a UPC Code of 1303020000 produced on or after March 24, 2015.
  2. 10-lb. bags of soybean sprouts in black plastic bags labeled “Soy Bean Sprouts”  “Keep Refrigerated” produced on or after March 24, 2015.

These items were distributed to retail stores in Virginia and Maryland.

The contamination was discovered after sampling by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Food Safety Program and subsequent analysis by the Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services that revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the products. No illnesses have been reported to date.

Individuals who purchased soybean sprouts distributed by Henry’s Farm should return the product to the place of sale for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company directly at (301) 802- 2996 or the VDACS Food Safety Program at (804) 786-3520.

Listeria bacteria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections to individuals with weakened immune systems.  Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Henry’s Farm previously recalled soybean sprouts in November 2014 for possible Listeria contamination.

Listeria Test Prompts Jerky Recall

Robber’s Roost Jerky, an Ellensburg, Wash., establishment, is recalling approximately 4 pounds of ready-to-eat smoked beef and pork pepper stick jerky product that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The fully cooked beef and pork pepper stick jerky product was produced on March 24, 2015. The following product is subject to recall:

  • 6” individual Cryovac sticks of “Smoked Beef & Pork Pepper Stick” with package code 032420150004.

The product subject to recall bears the establishment number “EST. 19962M” inside the USDA mark of inspection. This product was shipped to local retail outlets in Washington.

The problem was discovered by the company after a sample from the cutting board used in preparation of the product returned a positive test result for Listeria monocytogenes. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illness due to consumption of this product.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

Spinach Dip with Listeria Recalled by Costco

La Terra Fina is issuing a voluntary recall of its Organic Spinach Dip due to a potential health risk from Listeria exposure. The recall of product available in Bay Area Costco stores is a precaution. This is the only product that has been impacted and there have been no reports of illness.

Product Name                                                     UPC Code                         Best-By Date

La Terra Fina Organic Thick & Creamy         640410513730                3/24/2015

Spinach Dip & Spread, 24-ounce tub                                                        4/01/2015, 4/14/2015, 4/20/15

The quality of its products and satisfaction of its customers is La Terra Fina’s top priority. The brand follows rigorous food safety and ingredient testing standards and is withdrawing this product out of an abundance of caution for consumer safety. La Terra Fina urges consumers who have purchased this item in the impacted region to discard any opened or unused product and contact their local Costco store for a refund.

A Chicago wholesale meat company is recalling nearly 170,000 pounds of meat products that may be contaminated with bacteria that can cause illness.