Olymel bacon plant pulls back goods over listeria

Pork processor Olymel’s foodservice arm has mounted a recall of over 170 tonnes of bacon products following a positive test last month in the U.S. for listeria.

The Quebec processor’s Aliments Prince plant at Cornwall, Ont. is recalling about 380,000 pounds of precooked, diced bacon products sold under five different brand names, the U.S. government’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said Friday.

The recall stems from “routine” FSIS testing on July 19, in which a sample of the company’s diced bacon was found to test positive for listeria monocytogenes.

The delivery represented by that sample was then refused entry, FSIS said, and the follow-up investigations by the company and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) led to the larger recall.

Neither FSIS nor the company have had any reports of illness related to consumption of the affected products, FSIS said in a release.

The recall applies to all bacon goods stamped with production dates before Aug. 10 from the Cornwall plant, registered by CFIA as Establishment 169A.

The products were exported in 10-pound shipping containers under the Olymel, Assoluti, Bellissimo, Stefano and Napoli brands to distribution centres in the U.S. for further shipment to various foodservice institutions, FSIS said.

Consumption of food contaminated with listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, which can cause serious flulike symptoms, usually in those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, people with HIV or those undergoing chemotherapy.

Aliments Prince last month picked up a $2 million federal AgriProcessing loan for the purchase and installation of three new bacon slicing and packing lines at the company’s St-Hyacinthe, Que. plant, about 175 km east of Cornwall, to increase that plant’s production speed.

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