New Zealand’s north island has been experiencing some listeria contamination and it has recieved some interesting comment down under.   Chris Barton, feature writer for nzheard, raises some pointed questions.  Here’s some of what he says:

"Officials charged with overseeing public health and ensuring the safety of our food have some explaining to do over their handling of two listeria contaminations this month.

"It’s bad enough that the contaminations occurred at the same company – Leonard’s Superior Smallgoods. But it is worse that Leonard’s contaminated food has been consumed by the public during this month at at least 31 cafeterias in the upper North Island, and neither the Auckland Regional Public Health Service nor the New Zealand Food Safety Authority will tell us where.

"Nor will they tell us the level of the listeria contamination. At this point, they don’t know if the food had a large or a small amount of the extremely resilient bacteria present. Worse, both organisations have been extremely slow in providing information.

"The Food Safety Authority has a "Recalls and Alerts" section on its website, but as of 3.30pm yesterday there was nothing about the listeria contaminations.

"Auckland Regional Public Health hasn’t been particularly proactive either. Its press release for the first contamination came out on February 21 and didn’t name Leonard’s as the culprit. That was three days after Waikato Hospital confirmed listeria monocyotogenes in Leonard’s sliced beef and withdrew it from its cafeterias and patient menus. Elsewhere, by the time the recall went out, most of the bad food had been eaten."

See the rest here.