Leaks Recalled Over Listeria Contamination ConcernsJan 22, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP Leeks are the newest food product to be recalled over listeria concerns. Two different types of leeks, which have been sold in Canada, have been recalled over concerns that the vegetables are contaminated with the food borne bacteria Listeria moncytogenes, reported the CanWest News Service. Leeks are a vegetable in the onion family.
The recalled leeks were sold in New Brunswick and Quebec in 250- and 750-gram packages and involve both washed and sliced leeks. The leeks are sold under the brand Les Cultures de Chez Nous, and are packaged with a January 27, 2009 best before date, said CanWest News. The manufacturer—Sainte-Brigitte-des-Saults, Quebec—and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are warning consumers to not eat these recalled vegetables.
PR-USA adds that the CFIA and S. Bourassa (St-Sauveur) Limited—the packer—Issued a warning and that S. Bourassa (St-Sauveur) Sliced Leeks, which were sold in Quebec in packages of various weights—250-gram to 400-gram—bearing "EMP. LE 13/01/2009 (January 13, 2009) to 20/01/2009 (January 20, 2009)"; "MEIL. AV. 20/01/2009 (January 20, 2009) to 27/01/2009 (January 27, 2009)"; and code 160305X are included in the leek recall because this leek product contains sliced leeks recalled by Les Cultures de Chez Nous Inc., Sainte-Brigitte-des-Saults, QC.
CanWest News noted that Listeria was the pathogen liked to about 20 deaths related to the widely publicized listeria contamination of meats from the Maple Leaf Foods plant in Toronto, Canada last year.
Earlier this month, the CFIA also announced a second recall of HQ Fine Foods EST 318 sandwich products, also over a possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. This was the second such recall by this food establishment in under four months. Just prior, the U.S. food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recall announcement about Café Favorites Whole Grain 5" Super Sub sandwiches and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the recall of two Patrick Cudahy bacon bit products. Both recalls were issued over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
In the United States, about 2,500 cases of listeria poisoning occur annually with about 200 in every 1000 cases resulting in death.
Listeriosis—the illness caused by the listeria bacteria—symptoms can develop in days or weeks and can vary from a mild flu-like illness to meningitis and septicemia; pregnant women can experience anything from miscarriage, still birth, or birth of an infected child. Pregnant women are about 20 times likelier than others to be infected, with about one-third of listeriosis cases occurring during pregnancy; the incidence of listeriosis in newborns is 8.6 per 100,000 live births and the perinatal and neonatal mortality rate (stillbirths and early infant deaths) is 80 percent. Those with compromised immune systems—such as people undergoing chemotherapy treatment or those diagnosed with HIV/AIDs and hepatitis—the very young, and the very old are also at risk. Healthy individuals may suffer short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.