We’re in waste managment: Liechtenstein thieves steal 1.3 tonnes of Listeria cheese

Germany’s food inspection office is concerned bad cheese will be sold either directly or indirectly, posing a health risk to anyone who consumes it, ATS reported on Tuesday.

sopranos.don't.fuck.with.usThe problem is the “Alp Sücka” cheese was found to be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium that causes listeriosis, a potentially deadly infection.

Liechtenstein’s food office had banned the cheese but during a check discovered that 236 five-kilogram wheels of the dairy product had gone missing, ATS said.

They were probably stolen from open containers where they were stored temporarily before planned destruction, the news agency reported.

The country’s prosecutor has launched an investigation into the cheese’s disappearance.

Listeria concerns on the rise for pregnant women?

Listeria has always been a concern, but according to a NBC news affiliate, it’s new.

amy.pregnant.listeriaAnd people wonder why mainstream journalism is dying.

“While normally this is a bacteria our bodies can fight off, for expecting women, it becomes more difficult because of a lowered immune system. Additionally, there is concern that the bacteria could be passed on to the fetus.”


Seek and ye shall find; Listeria in smoked trout in Denmark

With 15 dead and 38 sick from a Listeria outbreak in Denmark, there’s probably more testing going on.

And they’re finding Listeria.

smoked.troutThe northern Jutland company Geia Food has recalled a batch of røget ørred (smoked trout) after Listeria was found in some samples, according to a release from the food authority, Fødevarestyrelsen.

The fish is sold at Rema 1000 stores under the Musholm brand with expiration dates 25 September 2014 and 29 September 2014.

Fødevarestyrelsen has advised customers to throw away the fish or return it to the shop where it was purchased.

Halibut, called hellefish in Danish, from Hjerting Laks should also be binned or returned to the Irma supermarket where it was purchased.

According to both Fødevarestyrelsen and Metroxpress, frozen fish from as far back as 1 June may be infected. Hjerting Laks has previously had problems with listeria infection.

However, Statens Serum Institute (SSI) said that it has not yet heard of anyone contracting listeria from infected fish.


15 now dead 38 sick in Denmark Listeria outbreak

A fifteenth person has died from the Listeria outbreak, the Danish State Serum Institute (SSI) confirmed on Monday.

rullepølserThe number of those affected has also risen to 38, SSI said.

The outbreak has been traced to the deli meat rullepølse produced by the company Jørn A. Rullepølser, which has been shut down.

A total of 30 products – including variations of rullepølse, salami and hot dogs – were recalled.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (Fødevarestrylsen) also warned on Monday of a listeria risk in halibut sold by the company Hjerting Laks that was sold in Netto, Irma and Føtex stores.

Fødevarestrylsen was criticised for not acting quickly enough in responding to the listeria outbreak, with the food and agriculture minister, Dan Jørgensen, saying that “serious mistakes” took place. 

14 now dead, 37 sick from Listeria in Denmark

Listeria found in rullepølser produced by the company Jørn A Rullepølser has now claimed its 14th victim

rullepølserAlong with the death toll, the number of those infected nationwide continues to rise. Statens Serum Institut (SSI) reports that three more people have been infected, taking the total to 37 people – 17 men and 20 women.

Over 40 companies have been too slow to remove possibly infected products from the shelves and have been fined up to 40,000 kroner.

Some of the companies involved have delivered meals to the elderly or to other companies, and the food authority, Fødevarestyrelsen, said that they were too slow withdrawing products. 

SSI said that rullepølser is not the only source of the bacteria. Salami and grilled sausages were also infected.

Tjs Place recalls basil pesto pasta because of Listeria

Basil, parsley, cilantro, they can be so contaminated.

Tjs Place of Kirkland Washington is voluntarily recalling approx. 20 containers of Basil Pesto Pasta packed in 8 oz plastic tubs because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

ucm412696The recalled Basil Pesto Pasta was sold between the dates 8/18/14 and 8/21/14. The Basil Pesto Pasta affected by this recall has a sticker on the side of the container with either of the following codes: 0825, 0826, 0827, 0828

Basil Pesto Pasta was distributed in convenience stores, pharmacies, cafes and espresso stands located in King and Snohomish counties in Washington State.

The firm is not aware of any reported illnesses to date.

The potential for contamination was discovered after routine testing by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in a container of the Basil Pesto Pasta.

Danish processor pulls all smoked halibut from retail after Listeria findings

Danish seafood processor Hjerting Laks is assessing whether to resume its smoked halibut production after recalling products due to Listeria findings in two batches last week.

gravadlaks_hellefiskstorA decision on this will be taken next week, the company’s director Christoph Kjaergaard said in a response to Undercurrent News.

In a statement signed by Kjaergaard on Sept. 1, the company said it has recalled all its smoked sliced halibut products from retailers.

The company is now carrying out food analyses to assess whether to resume its production of sliced smoked halibut or remove it from its range, wrote the director.

Danish scientists uncover clue to Listeria’s toughness

Birgitte Kallipolitis, an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Southern Denmark, and colleagues report their findings in the journal Nucleic Acids Research.

listeriaListeria, a bacterium that sometimes occurs in unprocessed and processed foods, causes an infection called listeriosis. Most infections only result in mild symptoms such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea, which take about 3 days to pass and do not normally require treatment.

But in rare cases, listeriosis can spread to other parts of the body and cause severe conditions like meningitis, which is typically accompanied by severe headache, stiff neck and tremors.

Unborn babies can also contract a listeria infection from the mother via the placenta.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that around 1,600 Americans fall ill with listeriosis and 260 die from it every year. In Denmark – a country with a population some 60 times smaller than that of the US – over the last few weeks alone, 28 people have fallen ill and 13 have died from listeriosis caused by eating processed foods bought in supermarkets. Prof. Kallipolitis says Listeria is notoriously difficult to fight because it is extremely able to adapt to changes in its surroundings. This was the subject of their study, which reveals some important clues about how Listeria manages to retain the ability to invade cells while at the same time escape the attention of the immune system.

For their study, they examined what happens at the microbiological level when Listeria is exposed to some of the substances known to be challenging to bacteria – such as antibiotics, bile, salt, ethanol and acid, many of which it encounters in processed and unprocessed foods in the human body and also in disinfected environments.

Prof. Kallipolitis says, “We knew that Listeria can resist these substances, but we did not quite know how.” She and her colleagues found the bacterium uses various strategies to resist the substances.

“Generally speaking, Listeria must be described as extremely adaptable. It is constantly aware of its surroundings and if the environment changes around it. It reacts instantly and has a number of strategies to withstand threats,” she explains.

Listeria infects host cells by producing special proteins. In order for infection to be successful, the bacterium must keep the production of the proteins under a certain level – for above this level the host immune system becomes aware of it and attacks the pathogen.

The researchers discovered that when they exposed Listeria in the lab to the various anti-pathogen substances like bile, salt, ethanol and antibiotics, the bacterium started releasing special RNA molecules, as Prof. Kallipolitis explains:

“With these RNA molecules the bacteria can adjust how much or how little to produce of various proteins. For example it can downgrade the production of the protein LapB, which it uses to enter our cells. If this production is not downgraded, the bacterium will potentially be detected and fought by the immune system.”

The team also found that these same RNA molecules help Listeria keep watch on its cell walls in the face of danger. Antibiotics work by attacking the cell walls of bacteria. But when Listeria is exposed to antibiotics, it rapidly detects the assault on its cell walls and sets about repairing them.

The researchers observed that in the lab, Listeria only produces the special RNA molecules when exposed to one of the challenging substances. The bacterium did not produce them when there was no challenge.

Prof. Kallipolitis says this “reveals part of the mechanism behind Listeria’s extreme adaptability.”

The team now plans to find out if removing the RNA molecules renders Listeria harmless.

Food safety takes a hit in Danish budget proposal

At a time when a listeria outbreak continues to claim new victims – 13 people have died and a 29th person was confirmed as infected on Thursday – salmonella fears caused an egg recall and a steep increase in MRSA has been recorded, the government’s budget proposal released this week calls for cut in food control funding.

sorenThe government’s budget includes a 139.9 million kroner ($24.8 million) reduction in food safety controls and research. The cuts from a total food security budget of roughly 1.4 billion kroner and would be spread across the next four years. 

The cut was revealed on the same day that a new salmonella scare led to the recall of chilli-flavoured pork chops and just days after the food company Lepo recalled a batch of the popular liver pate spreadleverpostej after the discovery of listeria. 

 According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), measured by capita Denmark has some of the worst food security in the EU. The EFSA ranks Denmark as third worst country when it comes to the number of people infected with listeria, the eighth worst for campylobacter infections and the 11th worst when it comes to salmonella. 

L. monocytogenes in a cheese processing facility: Learning from contamination scenarios over three years of sampling

The aim of this study was to analyze the changing patterns of Listeria monocytogenes contamination in a cheese processing facility manufacturing a wide range of ready-to-eat products. Characterization of L. monocytogenes isolates included genotyping by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST).

listeriaDisinfectant-susceptibility tests and the assessment of L. monocytogenes survival in fresh cheese were also conducted. During the sampling period between 2010 and 2013, a total of 1284 environmental samples were investigated. Overall occurrence rates of Listeria spp. and L. monocytogenes were 21.9% and 19.5%, respectively. Identical L. monocytogenes genotypes were found in the food processing environment (FPE), raw materials and in products. Interventions after the sampling events changed contamination scenarios substantially. The high diversity of globally, widely distributed L. monocytogenes genotypes was reduced by identifying the major sources of contamination.

Although susceptible to a broad range of disinfectants and cleaners, one dominant L. monocytogenes sequence type (ST) 5 could not be eradicated from drains and floors. Significantly, intense humidity and steam could be observed in all rooms and water residues were visible on floors due to increased cleaning strategies. This could explain the high L. monocytogenes contamination of the FPE (drains, shoes and floors) throughout the study (15.8%). The outcome of a challenge experiment in fresh cheese showed that L. monocytogenes could survive after 14 days of storage at insufficient cooling temperatures (8 and 16 °C). All efforts to reduce L. monocytogenes environmental contamination eventually led to a transition from dynamic to stable contamination scenarios. Consequently, implementation of systematic environmental monitoring via in-house systems should either aim for total avoidance of FPE colonization, or emphasize a first reduction of L. monocytogenes to sites where contamination of the processed product is unlikely. Drying of surfaces after cleaning is highly recommended to facilitate the L. monocytogenes eradication.

International Journal of Food Microbiology, Volume 189, 17 October 2014, Pages 98–105, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2014.08.001

I. Rückerla, M. Muhterem-Uyara, S. Muri-Klingera, K.-H. Wagnerc, M. Wagnera, B. Stessl