Listeria found in texas processed celery plant, fda confirms


Listeria found in texas processed celery plant, fda confirms

Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium capable of causing illness, sometimes severe and even fatal, was found in processed celery and in several locations at the SanGar Fresh Cut Produce plant, San Antonio, Texas, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced. Samples had been taken from the plant and tested in a laboratory of processed finished products as well as environmental samples, the FDA added. The bacterium was also present in food contact surfaces - inspectors reported finding soil on a preparation table. Apparently, hand hygiene practice was poor at the plant. Also, a condensation leak was found above the food product area.

According to the FDA, the listeria it identified matched the DNA fingerprint of the cases of human listeriosis illness reported by the TDSHS (Texas Department of State Health Services).

The FDA says it is carrying out a thorough investigation with Texas authorities. A summary of findings of SanGar's premises were sent to the company last month.

SanGar was ordered to stop processing foods on 20th October this year and to recall all produce delivered from its plant since the beginning of 2010.

Texas food safety officials are liaising closely with the FDA to make sure corrective actions are implemented by the company in order to eliminate Listeria monocytogenes from its produce and premises.

Infection with Listeria is called listeriosis. Symptoms may include diarrhea, nausea, muscle aches and fever. If the infection reaches the bloodstream and nervous system the patient may also have headaches, confusion, loss of balance, physical co-ordination problems, convulsions, a stiff neck, and uncontrollable twitching or shaking.

Even though pregnant women tend to get mild listeriosis symptoms when infected, there is a significant risk of premature delivery, stillbirth and passing the infection to the newborn baby. Experts say that a pregnant woman is twenty times more susceptible to developing listeriosis compared to other people.

Authorities in Texas stress that so far all cases of infection with symptoms have occurred in people with underlying health problems.

The source of Listeria can be difficult to track down because of its long incubation period - listeriosis symptoms may not appear for many months after initial infection.

Nobody really knows how common listeriosis is because the vast majority of infected people just get flu-like symptoms and do not see anyone about it.

When the infection is non-invasive it does not go beyond the digestive system and symptoms go away in a matter of days. When listeriosis is invasive - when it spreads into the blood (sepsis) or the CNS (central nervous system) en route to the brain - it is much more deadly. 35% of such patients develop a fatal infection.

Source: FDA

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Section Issues On Medicine: Disease