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Canadian listeria cheese warnings reiterated in US

By Mark Astley , 05-Jan-2012

US health authorities have issued a warning in relation to a variety of cheese and dairy products potentially contaminated with listeria monocytogenes – weeks after Canadian officials recalled the same products.

Several products, manufactured by Quebec-based 3903052 Canada Inc, have been identified, recalled and destroyed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).

No illnesses in relation to the product have been reported in Massachusetts – the only state where the products were available.

Products recalled

The FDA notified MDPH that the potentially infected products were distributed to Cedar Market retail store, which in turn sold the products to Bahnan’s in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Akawi, Baladi, Shinglish, Tresse, Vachekacal, Halloon and Moujadale cheeses – all sold under the brand name “Fromagerie Marie Kade” – have been recalled.

Listeria monocytogenes, which is a potentially lethal bacterium, was found to be present in a 3903052 Canada Inc product during a routine product test.

A Canadian Food Inspection Authority (CFIA) alert was then issued in relation to two products on 11 November 2011.

This recall was extended on several occasions to include more products, including one instance where an administration error resulted in potentially harmful products remaining in supply.

Production ceased

In all, the CFIA recalled 55 cheese and dairy products manufactured by 3903052 Canada Inc between the 11 November and 17 December 2011.

One illness was reported in Canada in relation to consumption of the products.

A CFIA spokesperson told FoodQualityNews.com at the time: “The manufacturer has ceased production at its facilities and the CFIA is working with them to make sure other products manufactured by the company by the company are safe to consume.”

The spokesperson added that the source of the contamination was yet to be identified.

“We are still working to identify the source of the contamination, but our immediate concern is that all contaminated products are recalled. One that has been achieved the investigation will continue,” the spokesperson said.

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