Recall creep? Is this new? HelloFresh recalls frozen peas

There’s some great press release writing going on here, but not too many details.

HelloFresh of New York, N.Y. is recalling frozen peas due to notification from a supplier that the peas have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The peas were included in HelloFresh recipe kits delivered the week of June 11-15, 2016 and the weeks of March 12-25, 2016.Unknown

Currently, no illnesses or customer complaints have been reported to date, however, in an abundance of caution, the company has decided to conduct this voluntary recall. HelloFresh immediately informed their affected customers of the recall and advised them to discard the product.

Following the cooking preparation instructions printed on each individual case will effectively reduce the risk of exposure to this bacterium.

Also according to HelloFresh, ‘the pea is most commonly the small spherical seed of the pod fruit Pisum Sativum.’

Thanks for that.

Inquiring minds want to know if CRF Frozen Foods the supplier? If so, why did it take until 8 weeks to announce the recall? Was HelloFresh not going to recall the March products until they figured out they had used the same batch of recalled peas in their June products?

Oh, and show your validated consumer preparation instructions that lead to the effective reduction.

And CRF frozen veggies did lead to 8 illnesses including 2 deaths.

ben

RTE salad storage temps should be reduced in Sweden

Prepacked ready-to-eat mixed ingredient salads (RTE salads) are readily available whole meals that include a variety of ingredients such as raw vegetables, cooked meat, and pasta.

rte.salad.swedenAs part of a trend toward healthy convenience foods, RTE salads have become an increasingly popular product among consumers. However, data on the incidence of foodborne pathogens in RTE salads are scarce.

In this study, the microbiological safety of 141 RTE salads containing chicken, ham, or smoked salmon was investigated. Salad samples were collected at retail and analyzed using standard methods for Listeria monocytogenes, Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC), pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica, Salmonella, and Campylobacter spp.L. monocytogenes was isolated from two (1.4%) of the RTE salad samples.

Seven (5.0%) of the samples were positive for the ail gene (present in all human pathogenic Y. enterocolitica isolates) and three (2.1%) of the samples were positive for the Shiga toxin genes stx 1 and/or stx 2. However, no strains of pathogenic Y.enterocolitica or STEC were isolated.

Thus, pathogens were found or suspected in almost 1 of 10 RTE salads investigated, and pathogenic bacteria probably are present in various RTE salads from retail premises in Sweden.

Because RTE salads are intended to be consumed without heat treatment, control of the ingredients and production hygiene is essential to maintain consumer safety. The recommended maximum storage temperature for RTE salads varies among countries but can be up to 8°C (e.g., in Sweden). Even during a short shelf life (3 to 5 days), storage at 8°C can enable growth of psychrotrophs such as L. monocytogenes and Y. enterocolitica. The maximum storage temperature should therefore be reduced.

Foodborne bacterial pathogens in retail prepacked ready-to-eat mixed ingredient salads

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 6, June 2016, pp. 896-1055, pp. 978-985(8)

Söderqvist, Karin; Thisted Lambertz, Susanne; Vågsholm, Ivar; Boqvist, Sofia

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/iafp/jfp/2016/00000079/00000006/art00011

This couldn’t be any more Canadian if … Smoked Maple Syrup Salmon recalled due to Listeria

This recall couldn’t be any more Canadian unless it somehow involved fornicating in a canoe surrounded by beavers.

John Oliver has better writers, so regarding a Canadian Senate expense audit, he said, “This scandal couldn’t be any more Canadian if public money was used to get Drake to drink maple syrup on Niagara Falls.”

20160616ca_1466115557396_engAtkins Et Frères Inc. is recalling Atkins & Frères brand Smoked Maple Syrup Salmon from the marketplace due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product.

The recalled product has been sold at the Atkins Et Frères Inc. retail store located in Mont-Louis, Quebec.

If you think you became sick from eating or drinking 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.

This recall was triggered by the company. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled product from the marketplace.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Listeria and raw milk cheese: A risk assessment involving sheep

Semisoft cheese made from raw sheep’s milk is traditionally and economically important in southern Europe. However, raw milk cheese is also a known vehicle of human listeriosis and contamination of sheep cheese with Listeria monocytogenes has been reported.

sheep.milk.cheeseIn the present study, we have developed and applied a quantitative risk assessment model, based on available evidence and challenge testing, to estimate risk of invasive listeriosis due to consumption of an artisanal sheep cheese made with raw milk collected from a single flock in central Italy.

In the model, contamination of milk may originate from the farm environment or from mastitic animals, with potential growth of the pathogen in bulk milk and during cheese ripening. Based on the 48-day challenge test of a local semisoft raw sheep’s milk cheese we found limited growth only during the initial phase of ripening (24 hours) and no growth or limited decline during the following ripening period. In our simulation, in the baseline scenario, 2.2% of cheese servings are estimated to have at least 1 colony forming unit (CFU) per gram. Of these, 15.1% would be above the current E.U. limit of 100 CFU/g (5.2% would exceed 1,000 CFU/g). Risk of invasive listeriosis per random serving is estimated in the 10−12 range (mean) for healthy adults, and in the 10−10 range (mean) for vulnerable populations.

When small flocks (10–36 animals) are combined with the presence of a sheep with undetected subclinical mastitis, risk of listeriosis increases and such flocks may represent a public health risk.

Risk assessment of human listeriosis from semisoft cheeses made from raw sheep’s milk in Lazio and Tuscany

Roberto Condoleo, Ziad Mezher, Selene Marozzi, Antonella Guzzon, Roberto Fischetti, Matteo Senese, Stefania Sette, Luca Bucchini

Risk Analysis, June 2016, doi:10.1111/risa.12649

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/risa.12649/abstract;jsessionid=519D74728E4A34E1CE300B856B99D54B.f04t04

Too much Listeria from poor training? Maybe try an augmented reality approach

Listeria monocytogenes is the causative agent of the human illness called listeriosis. The data reported in the last 15 years of scientific literature concerning the relationship between this microorganism and the catering sector showed a permanent presence of the opportunistic pathogen through the years, though with low frequencies.

listeria4Even though the pathogenic capacity of L. monocytogenes is practically circumscribed to a few risk categories as pregnant women, newborns and different kinds of immunocompromised people, given its high case-fatality rate this disease represents the second cause of death for foodborne infection in Europe.

As it emerged from the reviewed literature, L. monocytogenes was recovered in many different food categories, which testifies the widespread of the pathogen in the food chain. The main causes of L. monocytogenes presence were poor microbiological quality of raw materials, cross-contamination, inadequate cleaning practices, improper storage temperature, inadequate preparation processes, and a lack in the training of staff on food hygiene.

In particular, cross-contamination of foods can be reduced by hand washing, use of gloves, separation of raw materials from end products, sanitation and disinfection of equipment and food contact surfaces, hence, a structured training program of staff on these practices is essential.

The occurrence of Listeria monocytogenes in mass catering: An overview in the European Union

International Journal of Hospitality Management, Volume 57, August 2016, Pages 9–17, doi:10.1016/j.ijhm.2016.05.005

Andrea Osimani, Francesca Clementi

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278431916300639

Food safety training is utilized in the food industry to provide employees with the needed knowledge on how to prevent foodborne illnesses. However, although there is evidence that current food safety training is effective in increasing employee knowledge, employees’ observed behaviors often do not change and, therefore, the risk of foodborne illness is not decreased. In this review we discuss several motivational theories and propose a unique use of augmented reality for training to increase compliance of employees in regards to safe handling of foods.

Taking food safety to the next level—An augmented reality solution

Journal of Foodservice Business Research

DOI:10.1080/15378020.2016.1185872

Dennis E. Beck, Philip G. Crandall, Corliss A. O’Bryan & Jessica C. Shabatura

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15378020.2016.1185872

Fancy food ain’t safe food: Listeria in UK goat’s milk cheese edition

According to the Mirror, a top artisan cheesemaker has been forced to recall a batch of goat’s cheese after staff discovered potentially deadly bacteria in the product.

Neal's Yard DairyNeal’s Yard Dairy, which is considered the forerunner of the British wholefood movement, discovered listeria in its Hay on Wye goats cheese during routine testing.

According to the Food Standard Agency (FSA) listeria monocytogenes can cause flu-like symptoms and can even lead to deadly meningitis.

FSA inspectors were alerted to the bacteria in the unpasteurised product by staff at the Neal’s Yard Creamery cheesemaking side of the business.

Described as London’s foremost cheese store, Neal’s Yard Dairy was founded in 1979 by Nick Saunders and Randolph Hodgson as a cheesemaker’s shop.

One of their first customers to the new store was Monty Python comedian John Cleese.

As a result of the tainted cheese, Neal’s Yard Creamery recalled all the Hay on Wye range and put up signs in all stores and market stalls that were supplied with the affected product.

The tainted batch was discovered when the cheesmaking side of the business, Neal’s Yard Creamery, tested its own products produced in Herefordshire.

Around 66 affected cheeses were found to have been sold to customers and the company recalled the products on May 20, before the Food Standards Agency official told them to do so today.

Not everything is wrong in Kansas (just most things): FDA takes action against food manufacturer for Listeria violations

The U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas entered a consent decree of permanent injunction today between the United States and Native American Enterprises, LLC, located in Wichita, Kansas; its part-owner, William N. McGreevy; and its production manager, Robert C. Conner.

Native American Enterprises.beansThe U.S. Department of Justice brought the action on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for significant and ongoing violations of federal food safety laws and regulations. The complaint alleges that the company’s ready-to-eat (RTE) refried beans and sauces are adulterated in that they have been prepared, packed and/or held under unsanitary conditions whereby the food may have become contaminated with filth or have been rendered injurious to health.  

Native American Enterprises, LLC is a manufacturer and distributor of a variety of food, including RTE refried beans and sauces falling under FDA jurisdiction. The consent decree prevents the company from selling FDA-regulated products until it comes into compliance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act).

The FDA issued a letter to Native American Enterprises, LLC in August 2013 warning the company to promptly correct its violations or potentially face legal action. The FDA conducted several follow-up inspections of the company’s food processing facility and continued to observe unsanitary conditions at the facility, including unsanitary employee practices and persistent strains of Listeria Monocytogenes(L. mono), a dangerous human pathogen that can cause listeriosis, a life-threatening illness. People with compromised immune systems, the elderly, pregnant women, and developing fetuses are particularly susceptible to listeriosis.

The FDA used Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) to identify persistent strains of L. mono at Native American Enterprises, LLC. WGS technology can show the relationship among isolates of bacterial pathogens found in the environment, a food source, or a person who became ill from consuming contaminated food.

“When a company repeatedly violates food safety laws and procedures they are putting the public at serious risk,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA took action against Native American Enterprises, LLC to protect public health, and as a result, the company’s adulterated food products are prevented from entering the marketplace.”

Native American EnterprisesUnder the consent decree, the company cannot prepare, process, manufacture, pack, and/or label FDA-regulated food products until it demonstrates that its facility and processing equipment are suitable to prevent contamination. Native American Enterprises, LLC must, among other things, retain an independent laboratory to collect and analyze samples for the presence of L. mono, retain an independent sanitation expert and develop a program to control L. mono and to eliminate unsanitary conditions at its facility. Should the company be permitted to resume operations in the future, the FDA maintains oversight over such operations under this consent decree and may order the company to take corrective actions if the agency discovers further food safety violations.

To date, no illnesses have been reported from Native American Enterprises, LLC’s products. Individuals who have eaten products purchased from the company should contact a health care professional if they experience any symptoms of listeriosis.  In addition, consumers are encouraged to contact the FDA to report problems with FDA-regulated products.

The company also manufactures meat and poultry products, which fall under U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulations. While the consent decree does not apply to USDA-regulated products, the FDA and USDA FSIS have and will continue to work closely together. USDA FSIS recently performed an investigation at the establishment and the company is currently operating under an FSIS enforcement verification plan when producing USDA-regulated products.

There are Canadians ill from Listeria linked to chocolate milk

Last weekend I was in Canada and visited a grocery store to pick up some of the things we can’t get easily in the U.S. like chocolate bars and some maple syrup. Walking down the dairy aisle I spied something I forgot about after spending eight years in ‘murica: Neilson brand chocolate milk – in bags.20160603da_1465006294503_eng

The same stuff, according to CFIA, that was just recalled after being linked to an unknown number of listeriosis illnesses (how many? that’s anyone’s guess).

Saputo Inc. is recalling Neilson brand Partly Skimmed Chocolate Milk from the marketplace due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.

Recalled products
Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
Neilson Partly Skimmed Chocolate Milk, 1% m.f. 4 L Bag clip: 1590JN01H8
Inner bag: BB/MA JN 01 2016 0 66800 00047 3
What you should do
If you think you became sick from eating a recalled product, call your doctor.

This recall was triggered by findings by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) during its investigation into a foodborne illness outbreak. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled products from the marketplace.

Maybe the Public Health Agency of Canada or the Provincial health folks will let folks know how many illnesses, how they linked them, what the timeframe was – sorta like CDC does.

Food Safety Talk 102: Flour power

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.1464969674490

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.

Episode 102 can be found here and on iTunes.

Links so you can follow alone at home:

Hockey road trip food safety: Listeria edition

I spent most of the day yesterday in a car driving from Raleigh to Buffalo en route to Toronto. We’re making the migration for a hockey tournament that Jack is playing in and doing food safety stuff along the way. Like snapping pictures of handwashing signs.

Somewhere in Appalachia I chatted with Live Science’s Sara Miller about frozen foods, Listeria and stuff that’s not ready-to-eat.

Listeria can live for a really long time in the freezer, said Benjamin Chapman, a food-safety specialist and an associate professor at North Carolina State University.10425873_10154932050770367_6908638488334872961_n

In fact, freezing is how scientists preserve bacteria when they want to study the organisms in the lab, Chapman told Live Science.

While Listeria is not ubiquitous, it is very common in raw foods, Chapman said. Most people ingest some Listeria daily, but not in high amounts, and those individuals are fine, he said. It takes, on average, thousands of Listeria cells to make a person sick, he said.

But when Listeria does make someone sick, “it’s one of the most fatal pathogens we have,” Chapman said.

Several CDC reports of Listeria outbreaks found that the infection’s mortality rate was between 15 and 20 percent among people who became sick enough that they had to be hospitalized.

To protect yourself against Listeria, frozen vegetables should be cooked before they are eaten, Chapman said. Heating the foods kills Listeria, he said.

In fact, frozen vegetables are not considered “ready to eat” products, meaning that the foods should not be eaten raw, Chapman said. Though eating raw, frozen vegetables may sound unusual, frozen kale, for example, is increasingly being used in smoothies, he said. And it’s not uncommon for pediatricians to recommend letting young children chew and suck on frozen veggies while teething, he added.

Chapman noted that microwaving these foods is not the best way to prepare them. That’s because microwaves provide very uneven heat distribution, Chapman said. The food will get very hot in some places and not hot in other places, he said. In other words, the bacteria might not be killed throughout the food.

He also recommended avoiding thawing frozen vegetables in the refrigerator. This can be risky, especially if a person leaves the food in the refrigerator for multiple days, he said. (sort of, this one didn’t translate very well as I was traveling through a mountain tunnel- thawing in the fridge is cool, leaving uncooked thawed frozen veggies in the fridge for a long time – like a week – especially if the temp is above 41F isn’t great -ben).