Friday, January 13th, 2012
The outbreak of the bacteria listeria that claimed 30 lives, sickened 146, and triggered one miscarriage this summer and fall could have been avoided if inspectors had properly reported violations they observed at the cantaloupe farm where the outbreak originated.
The FDA cited “serious design flaws” and a “lack of awareness” of safety standards at Jensen Farms as the likely sources of the bacterial contamination behind the deaths. But in a report issued this week, congressional investigators found the company that conducted a July safety audit at the farm, Bio Food Safety, gave it near-perfect marks despite finding three “major deficiencies.”
In particular, it noted that the company washed its cantaloupe in water that was not treated with chlorine or any other anti-bacterial additive — a process the FDA said was inconsistent with its recommendations and “a probable cause of the contamination.” The inspector did not take points off for the finding, the report states.
The Centers for Disease Control declared the outbreak to be over, issuing its final report on the matter in December. Earlier this month, some brands of kosher cheese were recalled because of listeria concerns.
Image: Cantaloupe slice, via Shutterstock.
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012
Several types of cheese made by the World Cheese Company under the kosher brand Haolam have been voluntarily recalled after a Wisconsin packaging facility that handles the cheese tested positive for listeria, a bacteria that is particularly dangerous to pregnant women.
The listeria-positive cheese was not, World Cheese Company emphasizes, the kosher cheese itself, but rather a separate brand that is only sold in Wisconsin. No Haolam cheese has tested positive for listeria.
Customers can return the recalled cheese products to the store for a full refund, including:
– All 8-ounce and 16-ounce bags of Haolam shredded cheese (Pizza, Mozzarella, Cheddar, Fancy, Muenster, R/F Muenster, R/F Cheddar), with an expiration of June 5, 2012, through Sept 4, 2012.
– All 32-ounce bags of Haolam shredded Mozzarella and Gourmet Blend with an expiration date of February 6, 2012, through May 7, 2012.
– All 5-pound bags of Haolam shredded Mozzarella, Cheddar and Muenster with a pack date of September 8, 2011, through Dec 7, 2011.
Miller’s Cheese Corp, another kosher cheese maker whose product was processed at the Wisconsin plant, announced a similar voluntary recall of shredded cheese products:
– All 8-ounce and 16-ounce bags of Miller’s shredded cheese (Pizza, Mozzarella, Cheddar, Fancy, Muenster), with an expiration of June 5, 2012, through Sept 4, 2012.
– All 32-ounce bags of Miller’s shredded Mozzarella with an expiration date of February 6, 2012, through May 7, 2012.
- All 5-pound bags of Miller’s shredded Mozzarella, Cheddar, Muenster and Monterey Jack with a pack date of September 8, 2011, through Dec 7, 2011.
This summer, a major listeria outbreak linked to tainted cantaloupe claimed 30 lives and sickened nearly 150 people across America.
Image: Shredded cheese, via Shutterstock.