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Potential Listeria Contamination: Strubs Norwegian Style Steelhead Salmon

Apr 8, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP Routine tests conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency uncovered listeria contamination in Strubs Norwegian Style Steelhead Salmon.  The agency is alerting consumers not to eat Strubs Norwegian Style Sliced Smoked Steelhead Salmon in 300-gram packages because of potential contamination with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. L. monocytogenes is a food borne pathogen that can cause serious illness and death.

The recalled Strubs Norwegian Style Sliced Smoked Steelhead Salmon was distributed by West Side Foods Inc. of Bronx, New York and was imported from Canada; 13 cartons were sold to three kosher retail stores in New York and Maryland.

The FDA explained that the recalled Strubs brand Norwegian Style Sliced Smoked Steelhead Salmon was distributed in cartons containing vacuum-packed 300-gram packages bearing UPC code 0 71217 69997 4, registration number “0609,” and stickers with a code date of 03MA09. There is no production date on the individual packages. There are 24 individual-300 gram packages per carton.

The FDA is urging consumers who have purchased the Strubs product to dispose of the product in a safe manner and wash their hands thoroughly after handling the product.

Listeriosis, the food poisoning generated by Listeria monocytogenes, is particularly dangerous to the elderly, pregnant women, newborns, those with chronic medical conditions, people with HIV, or those undergoing chemotherapy.  In serious cases, the disease spreads to the nervous system, causing headaches, stiff neck, and convulsions.  Listeriosis can also cause meningitis and blood poisoning in immune-compromised individuals.

In pregnant women, Listeriosis can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or birth of a baby suffering from the infection.  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.

Listeria monocytogenes is responsible for an estimated 2,500 illnesses in the United States annually, with about 200 in every 1,000 cases resulting in death.  Listeriosis can take days, even weeks, to develop and can present in anything from a mild flu-like illness to meningitis and septicemia.

Last month we reported on an expanded recall by Torres Hillsdale Country Cheese, which involved certain Asadero and Oaxaca soft Mexican-style cheeses due to potential Listeria contamination; a Peregrina Cheese Corporation’s Queso Fresco cheese recall that was the third in a series of recalls by Peregrina Cheese, all due to possible Listeria contamination; and a Neco Foods recall involving  231 cases of seven-ounce, 32-ounce, and five-pound packages of Atlantis Brand SMOKED FISH DIP, because of a potential Listeria contamination.

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