Bacon jam recalled in Alberta due to Clostridium botulinum risk

Bacon jam (a Canadian phenomenon) hasn’t had a good year. A version of the spreadable meat was the source of an outbreak of Staphylococcus aureus affecting over 200 people at Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition in August. The jam, with a pH of 5.8 and water activity of 0.97, was stored unrefrigerated and served to fair goers on cronut hamburgers.bacon-spread-recall

A similar jam produced by Kitchen by Brad Smoliak has been recalled in Alberta after Canadian Food Inspection Agency officials said that the product could permit the growth (and subsequent toxin formation) of Clostridium botulinum.

Recalled products
Brand Name: Kitchen by Brad Smoliak
Common Name: Bacon by brad smoliak
Size: 125 g or 125 ml
Code(s) on Product: Best Before 14 MA 14 and 14 JL 14

This recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) test results. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation into other production codes, which may lead to the recall of other products. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Kitchen by Brad Smoliak, practicing good communication has the following on their website:

I learned today that certain batches of my Bacon Jam, or Bacon by Brad Smoliak, product may permit the growth of Clostridium botulinum, or the bacteria that can cause botulism.
I deeply regret the concern and uncertainty this may cause you. I am a chef that lives in a culture of food safety. I have an unwavering commitment to keeping your food safe with standards that go beyond regulatory requirements. I acknowledge that my best efforts failed and I am sorry.

The same day we learned of this possibility, we worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to execute a full recall of the product. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product. The recall does not include any other Kitchen by Brad food product. The affected product was made in an off-site manufacturing facility and not at Kitchen.

I understand that your confidence in my products may be shaken, but I commit to you that my actions today and in the future will always be guided by putting your interests first.

From Smoliak’s comments it sounds like a copacker was used for this product. Practicing good communication is fine but choosing a service provider who can identify hazards and actually employ correct control measures for each recipe is a smart business decision.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.