October 17, 2019

Oskri Sells Nut Butter Plant After Listeria Monocytogenes Recall

Oskri Organics Corporation at 528 Tyranena Park Road in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, sold the building where they made nut butters and snacks after all of their products were recalled in January 2019. In addition, the brands Inspired Organics and Thrive Market nut butters were recalled in December 2018 and January 2019 for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Oskri made the nut butters for those companies.

Oskri Sells Building Nut Butters Recalled Listeria

All 19 of the company’s nut butters were included in that January recall. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The company now uses a facility in Ixonia to produce the nut butters, but City Manager Steve Wilke told the Lake Mills Leader that the company “is looking for other uses of the building.”

Listeria monocytogenes bacteria is ubiquitous in the environment: it is found in soil, water, the air, and plant material. Once Listeria monocytogenes is established in a facility, it can be very difficult to eradicate, especially on food contact surfaces.

The bacterium is good at adapting to changes in its environment. It can adapt to a wide range of pH values and salt concentration. The pathogen can grow at refrigerator temperatures and freezing does not kill it. Listeria monocytogenes can transform to a spore-like state that lets it survive for years in some environments.

Facilities that have environments that are cool and wet are especially vulnerable. Food processing facilities need to have smooth floors that are easy to clean, sealed off entrances, good traffic control, drains, grease traps, and air vents that are easy to clean and sanitize, and no standing water or condensate on floors, ceilings, overhead pipes, and walls.

There is zero tolerance for any Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in food in this country. The pathogen has a high death rate, and it affects vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and pregnant women.

Listeria monocytogenes infers about 1600 Americans every year. The death rate for this pathogen is 16 to 20%. Symptoms of listeriosis include a high fever, stiff neck, abdominal pain, severe headache, nausea, and diarrhea. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable, since they can suffer miscarriage and stillbirth if they contract this infection.

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