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Listeria Blog

Surveillance & Analysis on Listeria News & Outbreaks

Cheese from Canada Recalled

Castle Cheese Inc. is recalling Sun Valley and Castle brand shredded cheese products from the marketplace due to possible Listeria contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, the infection can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth. In severe cases of illness, people may die.

Falafel King Recalls Green Chile Hummus

Falafel King of Boulder, Colorado is voluntarily recalling 10-ounce containers of Hatch Green Chile Hummus and 8.5-ounce Hatch Green Chile Wraps because they may have been contaminated with Listeria.

The recalled products were distributed to retail stores in certain areas of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Nebraska.

The Hatch Green Chile Hummus comes in a 10-ounce clear plastic container with a black-rimmed lid, the UPC #822986-10305-2 printed on the back label and a “Sell By” dates between 02/14/2014 and 03/16/2014 printed just above the back label where the UPC / bar code is located.

The Hatch Green Chile Wraps are individually wrapped in clear plastic wrap, the UPC #822986-70205-7 printed on the front label and a sticker printed with “Sell By” 02/28 through 02/27 on the back of the package.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the products. However, due to the time involved in tracing a foodborne illness back to a specific food product, it is impossible to say if any illnesses have occurred.

The recall was prompted by a notification from the fresh green chili supplier that there was a potential for the Listeria contamination.

Listeria Outbreak in California and Maryland

A total of eight persons infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes were reported from California (1) and Maryland (7)

Seven of eight ill persons were hospitalized. One death was reported in California. Five of the illnesses (2 mother-newborn pairs and a newborn) were related to pregnancy.

All patients are of Hispanic ethnicity.

Virginia Recalls Listeria in Cheese

On February 10, 2014, Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium that can cause human illness, was isolated from a sample of Cuajada en Terron (Fresh Cheese Curd) collected by representatives from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  The sample was collected at Mega Mart, a retail store located at 8328 Shopper’s Square, Manassas, VA 20111. The product was sold in clear, unlabeled plastic bags held in the retail cheese display cooler within the facility.

No lot or date coding information was included on the product packaging.  Individuals who purchased this product should not consume the cheese and should discard any remaining portions.  Those who have already consumed the product should be aware of the risks and symptoms associated with Listeria monocytogenes infection.

Virginia has not seen any reported cases of listeriosis associated with this cheese at this time. Listeria monocytogenes infection commonly can exhibit short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea when it affects healthy individuals. The Listeria monocytogenes organism may cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and individuals with weakened immune systems.  Listeria monocytogenes infection is a major concern for pregnant women because it can cause miscarriages, stillbirths and neonatal illness.

The consumption of unpasteurized or contaminated milk or cheeses can cause Listeria monocytogenes infections. Symptoms of Listeria infection generally appear about three weeks after exposure, but may appear as soon as three days or as long as 70 days after exposure.  Anyone who experiences the symptoms described above and has purchased and eaten the Cuajada en Terron cheese at Manassas Mega Mart, 8328 Shopper’s Square, Manassas, Virginia should see a doctor.

Listeria Recall – Green Chiles

Bueno Foods has announced a voluntary recall of its frozen non-ready-to-eat green chile.

According to the company, the measure is being taken due to the possibilty of low levels of the listeria bacteria being present in the product.

In a press release, Bueno Foods President Jackie Baca said, “Bueno is taking this action because we are committed to providing a safe food supply to our customers.  We pride ourselves as having some of the highest health and safety standards in the industry and are taking this action as a precaution.”

Listeria Recall: Cheddar Cheese

Jensen Ltd is recalling Wilton Cheese Factory brand Old Cheddar Cheese from the marketplace due to possible Listeria contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.

The following product has been sold from Wilton Cheese Factory, 287 Simmons Rd, (Wilton), RR#2 Odessa, Ontario.

Brand Name: Wilton Cheese Factory
Common Name: Old Cheddar Cheese (White)
Size: Variable
Code(s) on Product: Packed on: 14.01.27 thru
Packed on: 14.02.06
UPC: Variable

Scottish Cheese Recalled Due to Listeria Risk

According to press reports, award-winning Loch Arthur Creamery Criffel cheese have been deemed risky for certain people, including pregnant women, young children and anyone with an illness leading to reduced immunity.  The recall is the second time in less than a year that the same cheese has had to be removed from sale because of the presence of Listeria monocytogenes.

“Loch Arthur Creamery has recalled batches of its Criffel unpasteurised cheese, because Listeria monocytogenes has been detected in the product,” said a statement from the Food Standards Agency yesterday. “Listeria monocytogenes can cause illness in certain groups such as pregnant women, unborn and newborn babies, and anyone with reduced immunity, particularly the over-60s.”

The batches affected were produced on 11 and 15 November. Consumers who have purchased the product have been advised not to eat it and to return it to the shop where it was purchased. It is not thought that anyone has fallen ill as a result of eating the cheese.

Pregnant women and the in-firm are often advised to avoid food products which could be a high risk for listeria, including unpasteurized cheeses, smoked salmon, deli meats and pate. It can also be found on fruit and vegetables grown in soil.

Although it is fairly rare, listeria causes more deaths from food poisoning in the UK than other food-borne bugs. Most people infected with listeria are hospitalized and approximately a third die.

Marler Clark Listeria Clients Speak at Cantaloupe Farmers Sentencing

AP’s Dan Elliott reported from Denver that two Colorado cantaloupe farmers linked to the nation’s deadliest outbreak of foodborne illness in a quarter-century were sentenced Tuesday to probation and home detention, but the judge said he wasn’t sending them to prison so they could work to pay off $150,000 each in restitution.  Each will serve five years of probation and six months of home detention and perform 100 hours of community service.

Before they were sentenced, Eric and Ryan Jensen read statements apologizing to the victims of the 2011 listeria outbreak, which killed 33 people and sickened 147 in 28 states, according to federal health authorities.

  • “I can’t begin to describe how ghastly it is to watch someone die,” said Patricia Hauser. She said her husband, Michael, suffered a slow and agonizing death.  Occasionally looking toward the Jensen brothers as she spoke, Hauser said they should be sentenced to prison and fined. She told the judge she was “very bitter.”  “Someone took my Michael from me, and it just isn’t fair,” she said.
  • Jim Weathered said his father, also named Jim, died of listeria but would have wanted probation for the Jensens.  “Sending those boys to jail isn’t going to help anybody in this situation,” said Weathered, who often struggled to control his emotions during his brief statement.
  • Paul F. Schwarz said he would accept whatever sentence Hegarty handed down after the death of his father, Paul A. Schwarz. But at one point he looked toward the Jensens and asked, “What were you thinking?”

Smoked Salmon Recalled Due to Listeria

Lochiel Enterprises Limited of Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, is recalling 56 lbs. of smoked salmon products because of potential Listeria contamination.

The recalled products are St. Mary’s River Smokehouses Oven Smoked Salmon Stix, Chili Mango Flavor, in a 4 oz. black Styrofoam tray with an outer sleeve bearing the UPC Code 6 2642510092 9. The recall is specific to products marked with the production code 347 31## on a sticker on the end of the styrofoam tray.

The salmon was distributed in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and New York through retail stores.

The recall was the result of a routine sampling program by FDA which revealed that samples of the finished products contained the Listeria. Lochiel Enterprises Limited has voluntarily initiated the recall and is continuing its investigation.

Jerseydale Farms Raw Milk Tests Positive for Listeria

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) is reporting listeria in a sampling of bottled raw (unpasteurized) milk from Jerseydale Farms near Brookings, S.D.

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture advises consumers that bottled raw milk recently purchased from this business may contain harmful bacteria that can lead to listeria infection.

The contaminated bottled raw milk was sold in the Brookings County area. If you have purchased this bottled raw milk, SDDA advises the product be discarded or returned.

State bottled raw milk rules require permits for dairies selling raw milk directly to consumers. Inspections are required at least annually depending on grade of milk; dairies must also submit samples monthly for bacteria and residue testing.

According to the South Dakota Department of Health, listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and individuals with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. A person with listeriosis may have fever, muscle aches and sometimes nausea or diarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance or convulsions can occur.