Listeria-tainted lobster posed low health risk, CFIA says
Source of Article: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2009/06/26/pe-listeria-lobster.html
Last Updated: Friday, June 26, 2009 | 10:02 AM AT
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recalled frozen lobster from a P.E.I. processing plant a couple of weeks ago over listeria contamination, without making a public announcement.
The CFIA said it's a mild strain. It classified the discovery as a Class 3 recall. That means very low risk to human health.
No news release was issued and no information was given as to which seafood processing plant was involved.
Listeria can survive refrigeration, which is why luncheon meats and prepared sandwiches are particularly susceptible. But cooking kills the bacteria.
The listeria was found in the agency's regular testing of lobster. Inspectors have not found any obvious source of the contamination and increased testing will continue for a while to ensure product safety.
Some of the product from P.E.I. made it to retail stores and was sold, but most was recovered and brought back to the province.
The lobster meat was frozen, so levels of the bacterium were not getting worse as the product was shipped to stores.
However, the CFIA said that anyone who has frozen lobster at home shouldn't worry. If there were a high risk, the agency said it would have issued an alert to the media with product numbers and the company where the listeria was discovered.
An outbreak at a Maple Leaf processing plant that led to 22 deaths in Ontario caused heightened awareness about listeria last summer.
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