Category Archives: Listeria monocytogenes

Research – Migratory birds along the Mediterranean – Black Sea Flyway as carriers of zoonotic pathogens


At the crossroad between Europe, Asia, and Africa, Bulgaria is part of the Mediterranean – Black Sea Flyway (MBSF) used by millions of migratory birds. In this study, bird species migrating through Bulgaria were investigated as carriers of zoonotic pathogens. In total, 706 birds belonging to 46 species were checked for the presence of various bacterial pathogens (Campylobacter, Yersinia, Salmonella, Listeria, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Francisella tularensis, Coxiella burnetii, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Brucella spp.). From 673 birds we investigated fecal samples, from the remaining 33, blood samples. We detected Campylobacter 16S rDNA gene in 1.3% of birds, but none were of pathogenic Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli species. Escherichia coli 16S rDNA gene was found in 8.8% of the birds. Out of 34 birds that transported Yersinia enterocolitica strains (5.05%), only 1 carried a pathogenic isolate. Three birds (0.4%) were carriers of nonpathogenic Salmonella strains. Four avian samples (0.6%) were positive for Listeria monocytogenes and 1 (0.15%) was positive for Brucella spp. None of the birds tested carried the tick-borne pathogens C. burnetii or B. burgdorferi sensu lato. Antibiotic-resistant strains were detected, suggesting that migratory birds could be reservoirs and spreaders of bacterial pathogens as well as antibiotic resistance genes.

RASFF Alerts – Listeria monocytogenes -Chilled VP Black Angus Steak Tartare – Mini Blinis – Chilled Beef


RASFF-Listeria monocytogenes (present /25g) in chilled vacuum-packed black angus steak tartare from Ireland in the Netherlands

RASFF-Listeria monocytogenes (present CFU/g) in chilled smoked Norwegian salmon from Poland in Italy

RASFF-Listeria monocytogenes (> 1500 CFU/g) in mini blinis from France in France

RASFF-Listeria monocytogenes (presence /25g) in chilled beef from Belgium in the Netherlands

USA – Sprout Creek Farm Recalls “Margie” Cheese Due to Listeria Monocytogenes


Listeria kswfoodworld food safety food poisoning

Image CDC


Sprout Creek Farm of Poughkeepsie, New York is recalling 132 wheels of “Margie” cheese, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The recalled batch of Margie cheese, consisting of 132 wheels, was distributed to the following locations, which have all been notified of the recall and instructed to dispose of the cheese:

Hudson Valley Harvest 750 Enterprise Dr, Kingston, NY 12401
Mohonk Mountain House 1000 Mountain Rest Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561
Olsen and Company 81 Partition St, Saugerties, NY 12477
Gossetts Market 1202 Old Post Rd, South Salem, NY 10590
Tannat Wine and Cheese 4736 Broadway, New York, NY 10040
Sheep and Wool Fest Rhinebeck, Dutchess County Fair Grounds
Adams Fairacre Farms 765 Dutchess Turnpike, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
Stinky Brooklyn 215 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Ocean House Oyster Bar & Grill 49 N Riverside Ave, Croton-On-Hudson, NY 10520

Margie cheese is a soft, white rind, cow’s milk cheese. It is packaged with a green round label, wrapped in white milk paper in one pound wheels. The cheese being recalled can be identified with the lot number make date of 10-9-18 and best by dates of 12-9-18.

The recall was the result of a routine US Food and Drug Administration inspection of Sprout Creek Farm’s cheese production facility. During the inspection samples were sent to a FDA Lab for testing and Listeria monocytogenes was found in the product.

Sprout Creek Farm is working with the FDA to determine the root cause of the problem.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

News – McCain company officials ignored signs of Salmonella, Listeria contamination.

Food Safety News 

For more than 2 1/2 years, management at the Colton, California facility of McCain Foods USA ignored positive test results for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella, apparently  choosing to ship the potentially contaminated vegetable and fruit products without conducting confirmation tests.

This pattern of behavior was discovered during an internal audit at the manufacturing location, according to information in the FDA’s Weekly Enforcement Report released yesterday.

“During an internal audit at the manufacturing location, it was discovered that finished product had been released on numerous occasions after receiving presumptive positive test results for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella; confirmation was not conducted,” according to the FDA report.

RASFF Alert – Listeria monocytogenes – Chilled Beef Snippets p VP Black Angus Steak Tartare


RASFF-Listeria monocytogenes (present /25g) in organic chilled beef snippets from Austria in the Netherlands

RASFF -Listeria monocytogenes (present /25g) in chilled vacuum-packed black angus steak tartare from Ireland in the Netherlands

USA – Fit & Active sandwiches recalled from Aldi stores for bacteria risk – Salmonella and Listeria

Food Safety News 


Another company is recalling food because it contains ingredients supplied by McCain Foods USA, which has recalled all of the fruit and vegetable products made at its Colton, CA, facility because of bacterial risks.

This time, J&J Snack Foods Handheld Corp. of Holly Ridge, NC, is the recalling company. It has pulled two lots of Fit & Active branded “Southwest Veggie Stuffed Sandwiches” because of potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella, according to a recall notice posted on the Food and Drug Administration’s website.

“Although this product is not ready-to-eat and has baking instructions which, if followed, will reduce consumer risk, there remains some risk that mishandling of this product prior to or without adequate baking may cause illness,” the J&J recall notice states.

“Consumers with affected products are urged to discard or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.”

The Fit & Active “Southwest Veggie Stuffed Sandwiches” affected have production dates of Julian code: 20027230003106:15 BEST BY FEB 09 2019 and Julian code: 20027235003115:13 BEST BY FEB 14 2019.


Europe – Multi-country outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes linked to consumption of salmon products


Ready-to-eat salmon products, such as cold-smoked and marinated salmon, are reported to be the likely source of an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes that has affected Denmark, Germany and France since 2015. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) used whole genome sequencing to identify the multi-country outbreak.

In August 2017, Denmark reported the first cluster of cases linked to the consumption of ready-to-eat smoked salmon produced in Poland and control measures were implemented. In October 2017, France reported the detection of the same strain of Listeria in marinated salmon originating from the same Polish processing company as identified in the Danish outbreak investigation. The most recent case linked to the outbreak was notified in Germany in May 2018. By 8 October 2018, 12 cases, including four deaths, had been reported in the affected countries.

Due to the lack of whole genome sequencing data from the environmental and food samples taken at the Polish processing plant, it is not possible at present to confirm whether the contamination occurred in the suspected plant. Moreover, until information on the Norwegian primary producers of the salmon used in the contaminated batches has been reported and assessed, the possibility of contamination at primary production level cannot be excluded.

The identification of the same Listeria strain in a salmon product in France and a new human case in Germany suggest that the source of contamination may still be active and that contaminated products have been distributed to EU countries other than Denmark.

The report on the findings can be accessed at:

[Source: EFSA, 25 October 2018.]