Last week, a Chicago-based company announced the recall of over 8,000 packages of smoked salmon due to Listeria contamination fears. That recall followed one earlier in the month by a California-based company that announced similar Listeria concerns in packaged 5 and 7-layer dips. Also announced this month was the recall of thousands of pounds of Canadian bacon that had been shipped to the United States by a Canadian firm over concerns over the same bacteria.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Listeriosis, a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, is an important public health problem in the United States. The disease primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. However, rarely, persons without these risk factors can also be affected.”
L. monocytogenes has been associated with foods such as raw milk, improperly pasteurized fluid milk, cheeses, ice cream, raw vegetables, fermented raw-meat sausages, raw and cooked poultry, raw meats, and raw and smoked fish. The ability of the bacteria to grow at temperatures as low as 3°C permits its multiplication in refrigerated foods.
“Listeriosis is the name of a general group of disorders caused by L. monocytogenes,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc., a leading food pathogen testing laboratory. “The manifestations of listeriosis include septicemia, meningitis, encephalitis, and intrauterine or cervical infections in pregnant women, which may result in spontaneous abortion or stillbirth. These health concerns, product recalls and the costs associated with lawsuits due to food poisoning can be prevented with testing for Listeria and other foodborne pathogens. EMSL has laboratories across North America that provide these vital testing services.”
EMSL has sponsored a public outreach video to inform people about Listeria monocytogenes. It can be viewed at:
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of food, environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.