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DVFA: Not all companies complied with Listeria recall

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By Joe Whitworth+

21-Aug-2014
Last updated on 21-Aug-2014 at 11:28 GMT

Rullepoelse. Picture credit: Blazing Hot Wok blogspot
Rullepoelse. Picture credit: Blazing Hot Wok blogspot

Around 40 companies have not fully complied with the recall of products tainted by Listeria linked to the death of 13 people, according to the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

The administration said the companies can expect a fine of up to 40.000 kroner (just over €5,300).

More than 6,000 firms have been involved as the agency works to reclaim products affected by the recall.

There were nationwide checks by telephone with a total of 6,000 companies in the second and third stages of withdrawal.

Additionally, there were about 70 physical inspections in the second part and about 540 physical checks in the third part.

Linked to 13 deaths

Listeria cases from ‘Rullepoelse’ stands at 24 sick and a link to 13 deaths with more illnesses expected, according to the Statens Serum Institut (SSI), the National Health Agency.

Patients range in age from 43-89 years old, with ten men and 14 women, and have been reported from Hovedstaden (5), Midtjylland (2), Nordjylland (4), Sjælland (7) and Syddanmark (6) in the country.   

The type of sausage was traced back to Jørn A. Rullepølser in Hedehusene , which was shut and a full withdrawal of the company's products was launched.

Products have been withdrawn from companies that have acted directly with Jørn A. Rullepølser, but also a step further out.

The second part is mostly of wholesale trade, while the third part consists of many retail businesses, ie companies that sell directly to the end consumer.

Delica recall

As part of the work DVFA laboratory samples from the company Delika in Hammel also tested positive.

Delica recalled a number of sliced ​​cold meats products because of suspected cross-contamination of bacteria with Jørn A. Rullepølser products.

DVFA analysis of products from Delica found no Listeria but it did find the pathogen in the environment at the firm.

It has also recalled some products at retail and catering markets from 29 April to 19 August, according to the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

Incident report

Meanwhile, a quicker reaction to the Listeria outbreak could have reduced the scale of the problem, according to the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries.

Dan Jørgensen received a report on the incident from the Food and Drug Administration and released a statement with initial findings.

He said the withdrawal of products from Jørn A. Rullepølser was done quickly and efficiently, but also notes serious errors in the agency's handling of the Listeria process.

The report was presented to politicians yesterday (Wednesday) who agreed with the findings that stricter controls need to be put in place on Listeria and to look at companies analysis procedures and control.

Alert units at the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration didn’t act at the correct speed when they knew there was a match between sick people and Listeria, according to Jørgensen.

It took three weeks from when they were told there was a match to closing the company.   

The other mistake was the head of office of food alerts did not report to the DVFA Board of directors, he has since been removed from this role but is still at the administration.

An independent review will be launched at a future date involving independent experts from home and abroad, to come up with their assessment of what can be done better. 

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