October 26, 2016

FDA Found Listeria at Reser’s Halifax NC Facility

Listeria Monocytogenes Bacteria

After two Listeria recalls, more bad foods for Reser’s Fine Foods. Investigators from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say Listeria has “maintained a presence” at Reser’s facility in Halifax, NC since 2013, according to an FDA warning letter to the company made public this week.

Salads produced by Reser’s Fine Foods were recalled for Listeria in 2013 and earlier this year. During FDA inspections in 2013, 2014 and 2015 environmental samples collected from the plant were positive for Listeria.

Samples collected on November 3-5, 2015, confirmed that some positive samples were from food contact surfaces. Four environmental swabs from inside the processing room were positive for Listeria.

The FDA conducted  Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) analysis on six Listeria isolates collected during the sampling process in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The analysis found at least three different strains of  Listeria monocytogenes, L. monocytogenes present in the facility. The WGS results show that one of the strains  was found in each of the inspections. Specifically, four samples in 2015, onei n 2014 and four in 2013 were identical strains, according to the letter.
Listeriosis, the infection caused by Listeria, can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. Young children, seniors and those with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illnesses.
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