Going public: Foody World Listeria edition

Listeria illnesses are tough because they often look like sporadic cases. Linking multiple individuals together, especially with the potential for a long incubation period, is tough. The mantra of share what you know, what you don’t know and be available for questions is one is essential in sharing public health information.

Who knew what, when, and what was the response are a common set of questions following any foodborne illness incident. These questions are being raised by Richmond News following Foody World’s link to six cases of listeriosis. foody-world

An outbreak of the potentially deadly Listeriosis disease at a Richmond grocery store – which is linked to the death of a customer – can be traced back three months.


The Richmond News learned on Tuesday that the first two cases of Listeriosis were reported and confirmed in late July, with another two in August and two more in October.

It was only last Friday, Oct. 14, that health officials were able to finally narrow it down to Foody World on Sexsmith Road, near Garden City Road and Sea Island Way.

“The incubation period for (the Listeria bacteria) could be a couple of months, so it’s difficult to investigate,” explained Claudia Kurzac, VCH’s manager for environmental health programs in Richmond.

A number of stores were named as being used by people in the first few cases that were reported, said Kurzac, making it problematic to accurately trace the source of the outbreak.

“Foody World came up, but so did many others and we had to look into all the others, as well,” she said.

“In early October, the fifth case was reported and only then were we able to narrow it down to Foody World.

“On Oct. 7, we carried out a detailed inspection of Foody World; preliminary results took a week and on the 14th we had it confirmed to be Foody World.”

It’s understood that the customers affected had all consumed processed meat, in particular pork and beef, from the store over the last few months.

Kurzac said the store’s management has brought in a professional cleaning company and are now working with VCH on the store’s procedures and policies. “Clearly, a lot of education is taking place,” she added.

“There will be a lot of testing before they will be allowed to re-open.”

Cleaning and sanitizing of deli slicers? Or is this maybe a supplier issue?

Food World listeria victim dies

Listeriosis is a terrible disease, affecting mainly the elderly, pregnant women and infants – with about a 20% fatality rate. According to CBC, one of the six individuals who have contracted Listeria monocytogenes from a Richmond BC grocery store has died.  foody-world

As of Friday, at least six people had been hospitalized due to Listerialinked to Foody World, at 3000 Sexsmith Road in Richmond, B.C.

Vancouver Coastal Health warned customers not to consume any produce or ready-to-eat foods made in-house at the store.

The cause of death is currently unknown, the health authority said Monday.


Foody World turns into Listeria World

A Richmond BC (that’s in Canada) grocery store has been linked to six cases of listeriosis resulting hospitalizations. Health authorities are, according to Global News, unsure of the source.

Vancouver Coastal Health says customers should not consume any produce or ready-to-eat foods made at Foody World.foody-world

The health authority says at least six people have been hospitalized with signs of infection due to Listeria.

Customers are urged to throw out any food that may have been contaminated including ready-to-eat meat products, sushi, produce and baked goods purchased from the store since July.

Health inspectors have closed the store and kitchen and say the store will be reopened once all health and safety standards are met.

Recall creep: cookie dough edition

Listeria-positive linked recalls, similar to Facebook stalkers, creep. That’s what they do.

Same with clowns in the woods.choco_chunk

The typical event seems to go like this. Someone downstream in the buyer world or a government group finds a product with a pathogen. They call the supplier. The supplier looks at their system, maybe not understanding how regulators look at zones, sanitation clean breaks and environmental sampling, decides they will have a limited recall.

FDA or state investigators show up, assess the system, say, ‘hey, you really might have a larger problem here than you think’ and the recall creeps.

I dunno if that’s what is happening with Aspen Hills, a cookie dough processor who supplied their products to a bunch of ice cream companies (full disclosure, cookie dough ice cream is probably my favorite flavor).

It started with Blue Bell a couple of weeks ago, an expansion Monday and now Blue Bunny, Chocolate Shoppe and Publix are in on this.

Aspen Hills has nothing on their website about the recalls. Oops.

Food Safety Talk 109: Pooped on an airplane

Food Safety Talk, a bi-weekly podcast for food safety nerds, by food safety nerds. The podcast is hosted by Ben Chapman and barfblog contributor Don Schaffner, Extension Specialist in Food Science and Professor at Rutgers University. Every two weeks or so, Ben and Don get together virtually and talk for about an hour.

They talk about what’s on their minds or in the news regarding food safety, and popular culture. They strive to be relevant, funny and informative — sometimes they succeed. You can download the audio recordings right from the website, or subscribe using iTunes.14502823_10157592450435442_3811567674478483849_n

Episode 109 can be found here and on iTunes.

Show notes so you can follow along at home:

At least 1 sick: Sliced turkey and chicken products sold at Tre Rose Bakery in Toronto recalled due to Listeria

Tre Rose Bakery is recalling sliced turkey and chicken products from the marketplace due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.

trereose-bakeryThe following product products were sliced and sold at Tre Rose Bakery, 2098 Kipling Avenue, Toronto, Ontario from September 15, 2016 to September 16, 2016, inclusively.

Brand Name//Common Name//Size//Code(s) on Product//UPC

None//Lily O. R. Turkey//Variable//PACKED ON SE.15.16//Starting with 2 100252

None//Classic Turkey//Variable//PACKED ON SE.15.16//Starting with 2 100049

None//Brandt O. R. Chicken//Variable//PACKED ON SE.16.16//Starting with 2 100042

What you should do

If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor.

Check to see if you have recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased. Consumers who are unsure if they have purchased an affected product are advised to contact the retailer.

This recall was triggered by findings of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as part of an ongoing food borne illness investigation. The CFIA continues to conduct a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products.

There has been one reported illness associated with this investigation.

Mt Kisco Smokehouse recalls smoked salmon because of possible health risk

Mt Kisco Smokehouse of Mt Kisco, NY, is voluntarily recalling two types of smoked salmon because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

listeria-mt-kisco-smokehouse-salmonProduct was distributed in New York and Connecticut through retail stores and restaurants between 9/6/2016 to 9/16/2016.

The whole product is packed in an unlabeled paper box and delivered to restaurants.  The sliced product is sold in a clear plastic package and labeled on the back with lot and use by date.

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

The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing by the FDA inspection revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in floor drains and cracks in the floor.

Test and ye shall find: Listeria in Blue Bell ice cream, again

A supplier of cookie dough that Blue Bell Creameries blamed for a possible listeria contamination of some of its ice cream products said Thursday that its product tested negative for the pathogen before it was sent to the Texas-based company.

listeria-blue-bellBlue Bell announced Wednesday it was recalling select flavors of ice cream distributed across the South and made at its Sylacauga, Alabama, plant after finding chocolate chip cookie dough from a third-party supplier — Iowa-based Aspen Hills Inc. — that was potentially contaminated with listeria.

Blue Bell halted sales, issued a voluntarily recall of all its products in April 2015 and shut down its three plants due to bacteria contamination that was linked to 10 listeria cases in four states, including three deaths in Kansas. The company, headquartered in Brenham, about 70 miles outside Houston, resumed selling its products about four months later. Before resuming production, the company said it had implemented new cleaning and sanitizing procedures at its facilities, as well as new testing programs and new employee training.

The iconic ice cream brand is beloved in Texas, where people impatiently awaited its return to store shelves after the recall.

No illnesses have been reported from the latest recall of ice cream distributed in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, Blue Bell said.

Blue Bell said on Thursday in an email to The Associated Press that it found listeria contamination in packages of cookie dough ingredient received from Aspen Hills.

But a statement from Aspen Hills said its cookie dough product tested negative for listeria before it was shipped to Blue Bell and that the “positive listeria results were obtained by Blue Bell only after our product had been in their control for almost two months.”

Aspen Hills said that Blue Bell is the only customer who received the cookie dough product “included in our voluntary recall.” Blue Bell has been a customer of Aspen Hills since January.

Apple Tree Goat Dairy recalls four goat cheeses because of possible health risk

I don’t want apples in goat shit.

list-apple-tree-goatAnd don’t want Listeria in feta.

Apple Tree Goat Dairy of Richfield, PA is recalling Feta cheese aged 60 days lot #836, Gouda Cheese aged 60 days Lot #426 Pasturized chevre Lot #816, in 5 lb. or 8 oz. and French Herb Chevre Lot #736 in 8 oz. Or 5 lb. because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, .

Product may have been distributed in Washington DC, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia thru Lancaster co-op.

The Chevre lot #816 was in 8 oz. shrink wrapped bags, French herb chevre lot #736 was packaged in 8oz. Shrink bag. Both Chevre may also have been in 5 lb. plastic tubs. The Feta lot #836 with expiration 12/16 and Gouda lot 426 was a square block 8oz package or a 5 lb block, also shrink wrapped.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recall was the result of a routine sampling program by Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. The samples collected by Pennsylvania were found to be contaminated with Listeria Monocytogenes. We are currently working with PA Department of Agriculture to resolve the issue.

WTF is listeria doing in Eggos

I’ve always been suspicious of Kellogg Co.

eggoSure, as a kid, I loved Tony the Tiger, but then I grew up.

The company founded on fairytales and colonic cleansing in Michigan, the company that said in the wake of the 2009 Peanut Corporation of America that called for more government because its own internal audits of suppliers was so terribly shitty, is now recalling about 10,000 cases of its Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles in 25 states because they could be contaminated with listeria.

The Battle Creek, Michigan company said Monday it has received no reports of illnesses. Kellogg says it learned of the potential problem after routine tests.

The recalled waffles are available in 10-count packs with “Used by” dates of Nov. 21, 2017 and Nov. 22, 2017. Kellogg Co., which also makes Frosted Flakes and Special K, said no other Eggo products were affected.