Recalls and Alerts: January 18, 2013

Here is today’s list of food safety recalls, product withdrawals, allergy alerts and miscellaneous compliance issues. The live links will take you directly to the official recall notices and company news releases that contain detailed information for each recall and alert.

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United States

  • Allergy Alert: King’s Delight (Gainesville, GA) recalls APPLEGATE® Naturals Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets (8-oz cartons; Est. P-2617; Lot #210864; Best before 08/28/13; UPC 25317-00556), due to undeclared wheat. The recalled products were supplied to retail stores in Indiana, Maryland, Oregon and Washington.

Canada

  • Food Safety Recall: Fromagerie Bergeron Inc. recalls Fromagerie Bergeron Brins de Gouda Firm Unripened Cheese (100g, 180g, 230g, 260g, 300g, 500g & 2.5Kg sizes; Packaged 2013 JA 14; Best before 2013 JA 29; Lot 13-0065), Fromagerie Bergeron Le Populaire Unripened Firm Cheese (335g & 675g sizes; Prepared 2013JA14; Best before 2013AL14; Lot 13-65 or 13-66) and Fromagerie Bergeron Le Populaire Unripened Firm Cheese (2.2 (variable weight) Kg; Preparation date 13JA1465; 13AL14), due to the presence of metal fragments. The recalled products were supplied to retailers in Quebec, including Costco Canada.
  • Outbreak Alert Update: The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that an additional outbreak case of E. coli O157:H7 has been confirmed in New Brunswick, bringing the total number of cases to thirty, including 7 in New Brunswick, 10 in Nova Scotia and 13 in Ontario. The illnesses are most likely related to the consumption of shredded lettuce from California that was distributed to some KFC and KFC-Taco Bell restaurants by FreshPoint Inc. Thirteen of the 30 outbreak victims have been hospitalized, including one who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Europe

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands

  • Dietary Supplement Safety Alert (Hong Kong): The Department of Health warns the public not to purchase or consume Leisure 18 Slimming Coffee, as it was found to contain the undeclared and banned drug ingredients sibutramine and phenolphthalein.

Australia and New Zealand

Some supermarket chains post recall notices on their web sites for the convenience of customers. To see whether a recalled food was carried by your favorite supermarket, follow the live link to the supermarket’s recall website.

*The Kroger umbrella encompasses numerous supermarket, marketplace and convenience store chains, listed on the Kroger corporate home page.
**Includes Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs and Pak N’ Save.

Two Dead In Australia’s Listeria Outbreak

Two people are dead and one person has miscarried in an Australia-wide outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes illnesses that have been linked to cheese manufactured by Lactalis Jindi Pty Ltd.

In all, Australian health authorities have confirmed 18 cases of Listeria monocytogenes in an outbreak that first was made public on December 18, 2012. According to the Victoria Department of Health, the 18 illnesses were confirmed in Victoria (8 cases), New South Wales (6 cases), Queensland (2 cases), Tasmania (1 case) and Western Australia (1 case). One of the fatalities occurred in Victoria (an 84-year-old man) and one in Tasmania (44-year-old man). In addition, a New South Wales woman who was infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes miscarried.

Earlier today, Lactalis Jindi Pty Ltd. expanded its December 19th recall to include all cheeses manufactured in its Jindivick production facility up to and including January 6, 2013. The recalled cheeses were sold nationwide under the following brand names: Aida Valley, Blue Cow, Coles Finest, Dynasty, Emporium, Enterprize, G&K, Harris Farm, International, Jindi, Jindi Reserve, Kenilworth, Kingaroy, Old Telegraph Road, Raw Materials, Siena, Tomewin Farm, Tomme Farm, Top Paddock, Wattle Valley, and Willow Grove. Please refer to the complete product list for details of package sizes and Best Before dates affected by this recall.

On January 16th, Victorian health officials visited the Jindi factory to assess the appropriateness of the company’s food processing, hygiene and monitoring practices. Jindi implemented a new ‘stricter’ regime of product testing and quality control beginning on January 7th, and health officials are satisfied that appropriate controls are now in place to ensure the safety of the company’s cheeses manufactured on or after that date.

Australia’s current population is approximately 22.9 million people, versus the US population of 313.9 million. On a proportional basis, the size of the Australian outbreak would translate in the USA into 246 confirmed illnesses and 27 deaths. Listeria monocytogenes has a long incubation period, and additional cases may yet be identified. To help protect yourself and your family members from becoming statistics in this outbreak, please read and follow the Advice to Consumers, below.

Advice to Consumers

  • Check your refrigerator for recalled cheeses, and return any to the place of purchase for refund. If you are unsure of the origin of a cut portion of cheese, dispose of it without tasting it.
  • Refer to the list of recalled cheeses periodically; more items may be added to the list as additional information becomes available.
  • If you think that you or a family member may have become ill from eating the affected cheese, consult a doctor immediately. Early symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes infections include fever, headache, fatigue, aches and pains. This infection is particularly dangerous for the elderly, for pregnant women, and for anyone whose immune system is compromised.

Cheese Blamed For Australia Listeria Outbreak

Authorities in several Australian states are investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes that has sickened eight people in New South Wales (3), Victoria (2), Queensland (1), Tasmania (1) and Western Australia (1). Three more cases are under investigation and may also be part of the outbreak. No other details have been released.

According to health warnings posted by the New South Wales and Victoria departments of health, the outbreak is linked to a number of Jindi and Wattle Valley brand soft cheeses sold at delicatessens and supermarkets throughout Australia. On December 19th, a recall notice for the following cheeses was posted on the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website:

  • Jindi Brie – 1 kg
  • Jindi Camembert – 1 kg
  • Jindi Food Service Brie – 1 kg
  • Wattle Valley Brie – 1 kg
  • Wattle Valley Camembert – 1 kg

All of the recalled cheeses carry a Best Before date of 21 December 2012. As these cheeses are commonly cut into smaller portions for sale to the public, the original identifying packaging may no longer be available.

Advice to Consumers

  • Consumers are advised to check the best before date of any Jindi or Wattle Valley soft cheeses and, if from the identified batch, they should discard it or return to the place of purchase for a full refund.
  • Consumers who have purchased a cut portion of camembert or brie from a supermarket or delicatessen who are unsure of the brand should discard it. If in doubt, THROW IT OUT.
  • Healthy people usually show only mild symptoms. However, in people at risk, early symptoms of listeriosis include fever, headache, tiredness and aches and pains. Listeria monocytogenes can cause miscarriages in pregnant women, stillbirths, and death in people with compromised immune systems. Anyone who experiences symptoms consistent with listeriosis and who consumed brie or camembert within 70 days prior to becoming ill should seek immediate medical attention.