Deli meat packer shuts down Mississauga plant

A Mississauga packer has temporarily shut down its facility for cleaning and launched a recall of a long list of deli meat products it’s made since May 30 and sold nationwide, after cases of salmonella-related illness were linked last month to headcheese from the plant.

G. Brandt Meat Packers, which makes over 120 ham, salami and sausage products at its federally-certified Mississauga plant, announced its voluntary recall and shutdown effective Saturday, citing possible contamination of products with salmonella and/or listeria.

Brandt said in a release Saturday that the shutdown of plant No. 164 is a “voluntary measure… to conduct a thorough and intensive sanitation of its facilities.”

“We will continue to work with the (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) until we have a comprehensive understanding of how these contaminations may have occurred,” Brigitte Brandt-Welzel, the company’s vice-president of sales and marketing, said in the release.

Newspapers in the Postmedia (formerly Canwest) chain on Sunday quoted a Brandt spokesperson as saying the packer aims to reopen the plant within a couple of weeks.

Brandt’s actions follow a July 14 recall, announced by B.C.-based Freybe Gourmet Foods, of headcheese made for Freybe by Brandt at the Mississauga plant.

Freybe last Wednesday posted a voluntary recall of its Ham Suelze product, also made at the Brandt plant, though no illnesses have been connected to that product.

Brandt on Saturday expanded its recall to include over 100 of its own products processed at plant 164, ranging from ham and farmer sausage to smoked chicken and turkey.

Other products now covered by the recall and bearing establishment no. 164 include 10 Longo’s brand deli meat products, The Smoke Master brand smoked whole chicken and smoked turkey thighs and Borges brand smoked Black Forest style ham.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products, Brandt noted Saturday, but added that consumers are advised not to consume them and should discard them if they were bought up to July 30 from over-the-counter delis.

According to the federal Public Health Agency, the warning is “particularly important for those who are at high risk of getting seriously ill from food-borne illness: people 60 years and older; very young children; and others with weakened immune systems, such as those undergoing cancer treatment or who have HIV/AIDS or other chronic medical conditions.”

The affected ready-to-eat cooked meat products may have been sold pre-packaged, or at deli counters, in which case the original brand or exact product name may not have been transferred to the consumer packages, PHAC said.

People who may have bought the products and don’t know the original brand and/or product name are advised to check with its retailer or supplier.

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