Sunday, 31 August 2008

Product recalls continue

It is only two days since I last blogged about the problems with Listeria in Canada. In a product recall situation 48 hours is a long time and the CFIA has issued another six health alerts with regard to various products. It is a concerning situation and that is why test product recalls are such an important part of a food safety programme. You need to ensure the system works before it happens and any lessons learned in the test need to be built into improving the systems in the future.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Sandwiches recalled for possible Listeria

The US FDA has issued a product recall notice because Landshire, Inc. is recalling its American Sub sandwich because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria Monocytogenes. Follow the link for more details

Tuna salad items recalled

The US FDA has issued a product recall notice because Quality Food Centers (QFC) said today it is recalling five deli tuna salad items sold at some QFC stores in Washington and Oregon. The salad dressing that was used to make these items may contain milk. Milk is not listed on the label and this product could prove a problem to people with an allergy to milk.

Listeria monocytogenes update

Since my last post the CFIA has issued eight further recall notices in connection with the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. To get up-to-date information here is the link to the site.

E.Coli outbreak in Oklahoma

An E.coli outbreak in Oklahoma has made at least 73 people ill, one fatally. Marler Blog has carried a detailed report so follow the link.

Waitrose recalls pickled shallots due to glass contamination

The UK FSA has issued a food alert because Waitrose has recalled some of its Pickled Shallots (454g). This is as a result of pieces of glass have been found in the product. For more details follow the link.

More recall news

There have been another raft of recall notices and I only blogged two days ago. I did not realise until I started this blog just how many food recalls there were.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Further news on the listeria outbreak

The CFIA has issued a further two recall notices with regard to the Listeria outbreak for Metro Ontario Inc. and Fresh 2 Go Sandwiches and Atlantic Prepared Foods Limited are warning about Irving, Sub Delicious, and Needs brand sandwiches.

Yesterday it was announced that 15 people have died in this Listeria outbreak. The incubation period of Listeria is up to 90 days. There have been several cases in the UK linked to sandwiches from Wales in May 2003 (from a hospital) and from another hospital shop in the autumn of 2003; and sandwiches from a vending machine in 2007 and this outbreak was again linked to sandwiches supplied to hospitals.

This problem follows close on the heels of the Salmonella Agona incident in Ireland and the UK that has been linked to cooked meats and sandwich fillers.

To find out more about listeriosis follow the link.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Nestle recall stuffed pepperoni pizza sandwich

The USDA FSIS has announced that Nestlé Prepared Foods Company, is recalling approximately 215,660 pounds of frozen stuffed pepperoni pizza sandwich products that may contain foreign materials.

Chicken noodles recalled due tp potential presence of soy

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has confirmed that Simmering Soup, Inc., is recalling approximately 987 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken noodle products because they may contain soy, a known allergen,

Further listeria recalls announced by the CFIA

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued four further health hazard alerts for Listeria monocytogenes: Shopsy's deli-fresh Classic Reuben sandwich; Safeway brand and TakeAwayCafé brand sandwiches; Recall of all products from Establishment 97B; and a detailed news release.

The news release identifies that "To date, 21 cases of listeriosis have been confirmed, and the same strain has been detected in four people who have died. A further 30 cases remain under investigation".

Peppers - ongoing problems

The Associated Press have been researching records and highlighted a number of problems on the US/Mexican border associated with peppers. Follow the link to read this concerning article. The peppers concerned were rejected but this demonstrates the scale of the problem

Star Foods recall a number of products

The UK FSA has issued a food alert to state that Star Foods has recalled its own brand of Herbed/Spiced Chicken, Chicken Roll/Chicken Breast, Smoked Mackerel and Peppered Mackerel in various sizes. This is due to both an extended use-by date being given and a problem with incorrect vacuum packing of the Smoked Mackerel and Peppered Mackerel products. This has caused some pack seals to blow (burst). For further details click on the link.

Counterfeit Spar vodka contains methanol

The UK FSA reports that counterfeit Spar-brand Imperial vodka 70cl has been identified that contains excessive levels of methanol in Northumberland and North London areas. For more details follow the link.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Salmon recall due to Listeria

The US FDA has issued a recall press release to confirm that Interior Alaska Fish Processors, Inc. of Fairbanks, AK has recalled a batch of its Santa's Smokehouse brand smoked keta salmon because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Follow the link for more details.

Canadian listeria outbreak linked to cooked meat

With all the emphasis on Salmonella over the last month or so - a Listeria outbreak in Canada has now come the focus of attention. On their website Maple Leaf Foods state that "Maple Leaf Consumer Foods and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are voluntarily expanding a recall of certain ready-to-eat packaged meat products and are warning people not to serve or consume the products as they may contain Listeria monocytogenes". The site lists the twenty-three products believed to have possibly been affected.

The site states that "Currently there are 17 cases of individuals across Canada with the same strain of Listeriosis (13 in Ontario, two in British Columbia, one in Saskatchewan and one in Quebec). There has been one death in Ontario that has been attributed to this same strain. We have been advised by authorities that there is no evidence to suggest that the individual who passed away or any of the cases are linked to the contaminated product".

The latest CFIA alert can be found here.

Gastroenteritis outbreak following water contamination

Eurosurveillance report that there has been an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis in Solvenia affecting at least 408 people. It is believed that this was due to the water supply being contaminated when the water supply network was connected to a newly built part of the system.
Click on the link for a full report.

FSAI issues update on Salmonella Agona

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) issued an update on the Salmonella Agona outbreak on the 21st August. The list of products that may be affected has increased and includes chicken, beef and bacon products. Find out more details by following the link.

Since my post this morning a further product has been added to the recall today.

Salmonella Saintpaul cases continue

Two weeks after the the last update the number of cases of Salmonella Saintpaul in the US continues to rise. On the 20th August the CDC issued their latest update on the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak. Since April, 1434 people, have been infected with Salmonella Saintpaul with the same genetic fingerprint have been identified in 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Follow the link for a detailed review.

Eat Natural recalls cereal due to undeclared hazelnuts

The UK FSA has issued an allergy alert because Eat Natural has recalled its Crunchy Toastcrumbs Oats Honey and Coconut cereal due to undeclared hazelnuts. For more details follow the link.

Co-op recalls flapjacks due to undeclared allergens

The UK FSA has issued an allergy alert because the Co-operative Food Group has withdrawn its 5 Butter Flapjacks Squares. The alert states that "A limited proportion of the Co-operative Fairtrade Chocolate Brownies has been incorrectly packed in The Co-operatives 5 Butter flapjack squares packaging. The product is clearly visible to the purchaser. However the Chocolate Brownies contain egg, soya and wheat all of which are not declared on the flapjack packaging, resulting in incorrect allergen labelling. The product is therefore a health risk to individuals with allergies to the aforementioned ingredients or intolerance to gluten." For more details follow the link.

Waitrose recall salmon tagliatelle

The UK FSA has issued an allergy alert because Waitrose has recalled a batch of Salmon Tagliatelle. The alert stated that "Due to a manufacturing error, a small batch of Waitrose Salmon Tagliatelle contains prawns, which are not declared on the ingredient list. This makes this product a potential health risk for people with an allergy to shellfish." For more details follow the link.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Morrisons withdraws Best Wiltshire Breaded Ham due to undeclared gluten

The UK FSA has issued an allergy alert stating that Morrisons has withdrawn her own-brand The Best Wiltshire Breaded Ham. This is due to unlabelled gluten-containing cereal ingredients. The product contains breadcrumbs (wheat) and wheat proteins that are not declared on the label making the product a potential health risk for individuals allergic or intolerant to wheat or intolerant to gluten.

Vanilla wafers due to potential undeclared soy

The US FDA has issued a recall press release to confirm that the manufacturer of Publix Vanilla Wafers is recalling a batch of Vanilla Wafers as they may contain undeclared soy. Persons who have an allergy to soy run the risk of a serious or possible life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume the affected product. For more details follow the link.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Canned peppers recalled

The US FDA has issued a press release to confirm that Peppers Unlimited, Inc. is voluntarily recalling 580 cases of La Torre Jalapeno Nacho Slices. This is due to potential product contamination which may have been caused by a chemical reaction between the product and the can. This results in a swollen and/or ruptured container and significant off flavor. Follow the link for more details

FDA and mussels

The US FDA has issued a warning to consumers on certain frozen cooked mussel products made by Bantry Bay Seafoods, imported from Ireland. This is because they may be contaminated with azaspiracid toxins. These are a group of naturally occuring marine poisons that can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Follow the link for more details.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Nebraska Beef recall for E.coli

The USDA FSIS has issued a release recall to confirm that Nebraska Beef Ltd are recalling 1.36 million pounds of beef due to potential contamination with E. coli 0157:H7 The total amount of product subject to recall is approximately 1.36 million pounds. To find out more about the background to E. coli incidents in the US follow the link to E. coli Blog.

Salmonella Agona again

A few days ago I wrote an update on the Salmonella Agona incident, and Eurosurveillance has now written an indepth report which is worth a read. The outbreak has caused illness in Finland, the UK and Ireland. The FSAI has also issued an update on further consumer products that could be affected.

The UK FSA has issued a food alert with regard to
the food recall by Dawn Farm Foods Ltd. The cooked bacon supplied by Dawn Farm Foods was used by the Kerry Group in the manufacture of three own-brand sandwich fillers. Follow the link for more details. They have also issued a second update on the salmonella outbreak.

Recent US FDA alerts

There have been a number of recall press releases on the FDA website over the last two days:

Hop Lee Trading Co. Inc. is recalling Flower brand Dried Sweet Potato because it contains undeclared sulphites. Consumers who have severe sensitivity to sulphites run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume this product. Follow the link for more details.

S&M (USA) Enterprise Corp is recalling Grove Grow Notes brand Dried Bamboo Fungus Veiled Lady because it contains undeclared sulphites. People who have severe sensitivity to sulphites run the risk of serious or life-threatening reactions if they consume this product. Follow the link for more details.

Whole Foods Market is recalling 365 Organic Everyday Value Popcorn, Lightly Salted because it may contain undeclared milk ingredients. The popcorn contains an undeclared a white cheddar seasoning. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk ingredients run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products. Follow the link for more details.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Bovril recall due to salmonella contamination

Unilever has issued a product recall notice on their website stating that "We have decided to take the precaution of issuing a product recall on Bovril Beef Extract 250g glass jars and 600g plastic tubs after routine internal quality checks identified traces of salmonella in a small number of products". The Telegraph reports that Unilever has recalled 15,000 jars and 72 plastic tubs from stores across the UK.

This recall comes hard on the heels of the Salmonella Agona recall that has been discussed in this blog over the last few days.

Walker recall crisps due to rubber contamination

The UK Food Standards Agency has issued a food alert to stated thatWalkers Snack Foods Ltd has withdrawn a limited number of Walkers crisps multipacks across two date codes, due to the possible presence of small pieces of black rubber within the product. Walkers has confirmed that the rubber does not pose a risk for those with a latex allergy. For more details follow the link.

Further recalls in Ireland due to Salmonella Agona

The FSAI (Ireland) has issued a notification today with regard to Salmonella Agona. The FSAI's ongoing investigation has highlighted a batch of product that has been incorporated into retail packs of sandwich filler and the products concerned have been recalled as a precaution. Follow the link for more details.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Tuna recalled due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes

The US FDA has issued a recall press release because Home Made Brand Foods hasvoluntarily recalled approximately 4890 pounds of "Ready-to-Eat" Tuna Salad with an expiration date of 8/19/08. This product has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. For more details follow the link.

Salmonella Agona -latest

The EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) has identified two instances of Salmonella Agona in cooked meat. The incident in Ireland and the UK have been previously described and there has also been a recall in Italy due to Salmonella Agona in cooked and precooked veal and turkey from Germany. The weekly notification can be read in full here.

Chicken withdrawn due to fly larvae contamination

The UK FSA has issued a Food Alert because Netto Foodstores Ltd has withdrawn a batch of its own brand Fresh Chicken Breast Fillets due to fly larvae contamination. Netto Foodstores Ltd has withdrawn this product from the shelves and will be displaying a point-of-sale notice in the Rushden store in which the problem was noted.

Chocolate covered raisins recalled due to potential peanut contamination

The UK FSA report that R.M.Curtis Ltd has withdrawn a batch of milk chocolate covered raisins due to possible peanut cross-contamination. For more details follow the link.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Julian Graces recalls ginger product due to possible nut contamination

The UK FSA reports that Julian Graves Ltd has recalled a batch of Milk Chocolate Coated Ginger due to possible nut contamination because a chocolate brazil nut has been found in the product. Follow the link for more details.

Morrisons recall product for undeclared mustard ingredient

The UK FSA has issued an allergy alert because Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc has recalled its Natural Choice Tomato and Chicken Fusiloni due to a production error resulting in incorrect allergen labelling. The wrong sauce has been packed within a particular batch of this product and this sauce contains a mustard ingredient that is not declared on the label, resulting in incorrect allergen information. Follow the link for more details.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Salmonella Agona outbreak

After yesterday's post the FSAI have issued a new statement today. The notification states that

"The FSAI is investigating a food poisoning outbreak of Salmonella Agona affecting the UK and Ireland Whilst, the investigation continues to seek to establish the exact cause of the illness laboratory testing of foods is providing evidence of a link with Dawn Farm Foods Ltd, The Maudlins, Naas, County Kildare (plant number 734) and some of its products.

Dawn Farm Foods has confirmed to the FSAI that it is withdrawing selected batches of cooked beef, cooked chicken and cooked bacon products predominantly for the made-to-order sandwich/catering trade.

The FSAI is instructing the catering trade not to use the products implicated on the attached list supplied by Dawn Farm Foods (plant number 734).

The FSAI reiterates its advice for all food outlets providing ready-to-eat sandwiches to be particularly strict in adhering to best hygiene practices. Food borne bacteria including Salmonella are effectively killed through thorough cooking. Strict hygiene procedures should be followed at all times to avoid cross contamination between raw and cooked foods."

Follow the link for more details and also to a report just released by The Press Association.

The UK HPA has issued its weekly report today with an update on the Salmonella Enteriditis outbreak. It states there are 78 cases rather than the previous report of 114 cases.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Spaghetti sauce recall due to undeclared milk

The US FDA has issued an allergy recall alert because CF Sauer Foods Inc, of Richmond, VA is recalling all packages of Gold Medal Spaghetti Sauce Mix with the code date 8119R because the product contains undeclared milk products.

Latest on Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak

Yesterday the CDC issued their latest update on the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak. Since April, 1348 persons have been infected with Salmonella Saintpaul with the same genetic fingerprint have been identified in 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Follow the link for a detailed review.

US Beef and recalls due to E. Coli

Bill Marler has written a sobering blog post today listing the companies that have been involved over the last eighteen months in the recall of 39,000,000 pounds or 19,500 tons due to concern over E. coli contamination. Do check it out

Bottled water recalled due to E. coli

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland issued a recall alert for Pure Spring Natural Still Water due to the presence of E.Coli. Follow the link for more details

Salmonella outbreak takes tragic turn

Five days ago I wrote about the current Salmonella outbreak in the UK. The Telegraph reports this evening that tragically the bacteria has been said to have contributed to the death of a women in her 70s from Liverpool. The source of the bacteria is currently being investigated.

The Food Standards Agency issued a statement yesterday. BarfBlog has commented on the contents of the statement that includes information on how to handle food and prevent cross-contamination and ensuring that you follow manufacturers cooking instructions. This information does not address the possibility that it is a raw or ready to eat food that has been contaminated with Salmonella and caused this outbreak. If that is the case then there is nothing that can be done by the consumer to "process-out" the hazard.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has also issued a press release and stated that "as a precautionary measure, a company that supplies implicated ingredients into the catering sector has withdrawn these products from sale". Further it states that "The FSAI is advising food outlets providing ready-to-eat sandwiches to be particularly strict in adhering to best hygiene practices".

This is a fairly rare type of Salmonella but there were issues with Salmonella Agona in the US in April that were linked to cereal products. I will keep the blog updated with the ongoing investigation.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Pest infestation leads to prosecution

Environmental Health News reports that the Spirit Group has been fined £25,000 for "repeatedly failing to clean up a filthy, mouse-infested pub near its Burton upon Trent, Staffs headquarters".

Spirit Group, the national pub chain, has been successfully prosecuted 21 times over the last four years. They admitted seven serious breaches of food law including failing to control pests and properly train staff at the Bill Brewer pub at Stafford crown court last week.

  • £10,000 for failure to have adequate procedures to control pests
  • £3,500 for mouse droppings in the kitchen
  • £3,500 for failure to train food handlers in food hygiene matters
  • £2,500 for dirty equipment in the kitchen
  • £2,000 for having holes in the kitchen walls
  • £2,000 for food debris in the kitchen
  • £1,000 for mouse droppings in the dry store
They also had to pay £27,900 in costs. Follow the link for more details.

Do you need to know more about pest control or other food safety issues? Follow the link to find out more and preview the contents of our e-books at the e-books storefront.

Increase in EU food safety warnings

Environmental Health News reports that a record number of warnings about EU food safety were posted in 2007 by the EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed. 7,354 warnings were circulated to all EU food safety authorities, 13.5 per cent up on 2006. Is this a case of an increased problem with food safety or an improved reporting system? 42 per cent of the warnings were actually highlighted as a result of border controls. Fish products remained the category with the greatest number of alerts (21%) with other contamination issues including foreign bodies, heavy metal such as mercury in fish, mycotoxins and pathogenic micro-organisms. Follow the link for more details.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Salmonella outbreak in the UK

After all the blog posts on the US Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak the Telegraph has carried a report highlighting a Salmonella outbreak in the UK. There have been 114 confirmed cases of Salmonella Enteriditis PT12 in England and Wales. This strain is most commonly linked with poultry products. The Telegraph reports that the number of cases has increased sharply over the last six weeks and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has launched an investigation. Most people have responded well to standard antibiotics. Follow the HPA link for more details.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Apple pies recalled due to potential plastic contamination

The UK FSA have issued two food alerts today because Tesco and Livwell Ltd have withdrawn some 'Free From' apple pies, because the apple filling might contain pieces of hard, blue plastic. The Livwell pies are only sold by Waitrose. Follow the link for more details.

Sorbet recalled due to undeclared milk allergen

The US FDA has issued a press release stating that the manufacturer of Wegmans Sorbet is recalling a limited number of 16 oz. Wegmans brand Sorbets because they may contain undeclared milk. Follow the link for more details

FDA and mexican peppers

The US FDA is advising consumers that jalapeno and serrano peppers grown in the US are not connected with the current Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak. The FDA continues to advise consumers to avoid raw jalapeño peppers--and the food that contains them--if they have been grown, harvested or packed in Mexico. The press release states that "Additional traceback and traceforward information obtained this week has led to the determination that the Agricola Zaragoza produce-distribution center in McAllen, Texas--from where FDA took the positive jalapeño pepper sample--was not the original source of the contamination".

BarfBlog reported yesterday that Salmonella Saintpaul has been identified in irrigation water and a serrano pepper at a Mexican farm. The FDA has also traced a contaminated jalapeno pepper to a farm in another part of Mexico.

There is a lot of debate on the internet about this outbreak as I discussed last week. If irrigation or processing water is identified as a common theme on then it will put further emphasis on implementing good agricultural and good manufacturing practices.

Pies recalled for undeclared soya allergen

The US FDA have issued a press release to confirm that Publix Super Markets is issuing a voluntary recall on three codes of No Sugar Added Cherry Pie with a sell-by-date of July 8 – July 27 due to the undeclared soy ingredient. Follow the link for more details.