Health removes new cheeses due to the presence of listeria: these are the affected batches

The Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN) has ordered the withdrawal from the market of thirteen new batches of milk cheese raw of cow from France due to the presence of 'Listeria monocytogenes' and 'Escherichia coli'. On October 3, the agency under the Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare has already removed three lots of the brands 'Moulis cremier', 'Moulis vache' and 'Bethmale de Marterat Vache'. Now, after receiving new information from the Coordinated Rapid Information Exchange System (SCIRI), it has decided to extend this alert "as a precautionary measure" to thirteen new lots, of the 'Pyrenee' and 'Luzenac' brands.

AESAN explains that it was aware, through the rapid feed and food alert system of the European Commission, of an alert notification from the German health authorities. As a precaution, the product has been withdrawn from the market and it is recommended that the affected product be stored at home refrain from consuming it and return it to the point of purchase. All the information has been transmitted by the Coordinated System of Rapid Exchange of Information (SCIRI) to all the contact points of the alert network of the autonomous communities, so that they proceed to the withdrawal of the products.

The products distributed in Spain have been:

  • Moulis cremier, lot 19163112 with expiration date 12/01/2019.
  • Moulis Vache, lot 19199118 with expiration date 12/05/2019.
  • Bethmale de Marterar Vache, lot 19199118 with expiration date 12/20/2019.
  • Pyrenee Cow Raw Milk Moulis 4kg, lot 19163112 with expiration date 10/26/19.
  • Pyrenee Cow Raw Milk Moulis 4kg, lot 19170119 with expiration date 11/02/2019.
  • Pyrenee Cow Raw Milk Moulis 4kg, lot 19184103 with expiration date 11/16/2019.
  • Pyrenee Cow Raw Milk Moulis 4kg, lot 19191110 with expiration date 11/23/2019.
  • Pyrenee Cow Raw Milk Moulis 4kg, lot 19199118 with expiration date 11/27/2019.
  • Pyrenee Cow Raw Milk Moulis 4kg, lot 19219100 with expiration date 07/12/2019 and 12/14/2019.
  • Pyrenee Cow Raw Milk Moulis 4kg, lot 19219107 with expiration date 12/14/2019.
  • Pyrenee Cow Raw Milk Moulis 4kg, lot 19228116 with expiration date 12/21/2019.
  • Pyrenee Cow Raw Milk Moulis Prestige 4kg, lot 19205124 with expiration date 12/21/2019.
  • Pyrenee Cow Raw Milk Moulis Prestige 4kg, lot 19199118 with expiration date 12/14/2019.
  • Pyrenee Cow Raw Milk Moulis Prestige 4kg, lot 19170119 with expiration date 11/23/2019.
  • Luzenac Moulis Raw Milk Cow 4kg, lot 19199118 with expiration date 07/12/2019.
  • Luzenac Moulis Raw Milk Cow 4kg, lot 19170119 with expiration date 12/21/2019.

What is listeriosis?

Listeriosis is an infection caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Although rare in humans, the disease is usually severe, with high rates of hospitalization and mortality. During 2017, there were 2,480 cases of listeriosis in humans in the European Union, with 227 deaths in 16 member countries, which implies a 13.8% mortality rate. In Spain, for that same year, there were 284 confirmed cases.

The consumption of contaminated food is the main route of transmission to humans. Infections can also occur through contact with infected animals or people. In infected people, symptoms vary, from mild flu-like symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, to more serious infections, such as meningitis, septicemia, and other life-threatening complications. People who are more susceptible to listeria infections are the elderly, pregnant women, newborns and those with weak immune systems.

Listeria monocytogenes can be found in many foods, such as smoked fish, meats, cheeses (especially soft cheeses) and raw vegetables. Cooking at temperatures above 65 degrees kills bacteria, but listeria can contaminate food after processing. Unlike many other foodborne bacteria, it tolerates salty environments and can even multiply at cold temperatures, between two and four degrees.

As AESAN explains, the resistance of this bacterium, together with the high mortality rates in humans, causes the safe food handling It is essential to guarantee public health. To prevent listeriosis, it is important to follow good manufacturing practices, correct hygiene practices and effective temperature control throughout the food production, distribution and storage chain, including at home.

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