Canada and Chile are combatting listeria. The Canwest News Service reports:

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a warning Wednesday about Toronto-made ricotta cheese possibly contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

Consumers are urged not to eat Santa Lucia brand ricotta cheese sold in 500 gram packages with the best before date of Jan. 1, 2009. The affected products have a lot number of 477.

The cheese, manufactured by the Toronto-based International Cheese Co. Ltd., was distributed only in Ontario.

Since the Maple Leaf Foods ready-to-eat meats  outbreak earlier this year that killed 20, listeria clearly has Canada’s attention.    There are at least two official investigations underway and government notes made public seem to show that there was as much official interest in the media coverage as there was in the actual listeria contamination.

Meanwhile, in Chile, the number of deaths connected to the outbreak of listeria in contaminated brie stands at five.   The Latin American Herald Tribune says:

According to the official report, 91 people have so far been found to be infected, of whom 42 percent are pregnant and form part of the highest-risk group.

Of the total number of infected patients, 59 percent live in the Las Condes and Vitacura districts of eastern Santiago.

Chile has between 20 and 25 cases a year of listeriosis, which poisons food, but during 2008 the number soared to 91 cases.

For more on Canada’s recall, go here.

Additional information on Chile’s listeria outbreak can be found here.