Hausmacher pate sold at Nova Scotia farmers’ markets recalled

Where I grew up (Port Hope, Ontario – that’s in Canada), there was a small tailgate farmers market Saturday mornings in the parking lot adjacent to Valu-Mart, but the real event was a trip to either the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto or the Peterborough market on Landsdowne St. Each of the big markets had butchers and I’d usually wrangle my mom into picking up a couple of pepperette sticks (kind of like an unpackaged Slim Jim).

I never really wondered whether the stuff was safe. I didn’t think a whole lot about food safety and regulation until years later. I figured that if someone could sell it, they must know what they are doing, and I didn’t have to worry about it. Food safety is all about trust, and I had lots of it.

I’m not a fan of wurst so I probably wouldn’t have been asking mom for anything like Webber Food’s Hausmacher liver pate, a product that CFIA recalled yesterday.1520738_246504328850770_597368632_n

Webbers Food is recalling “Hausmacher” liver pâté from the marketplace because it may permit the growth of Clostridium botulinum. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.

The following product has been sold in glass jars with no label only from November 13, 2013 to December 5, 2013, inclusively, at the following locations in Nova Scotia:
Hammonds Plains Farmers’ Market, Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia
Lunenburg Farmers’ Market, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

There’s not a whole lot of info in the recall notice so I went digging on the Webber’s Food Facebook page. Seems that the product has a water activity of .98 its pH is 6.4.

And the label that was missing was “keep refrigerated.”

Sealed jar, high pH and high aW and no refrigeration is a pretty good way to make botulinum toxin.

Webber Food’s explanation of the story (including a delay of 25 days between the test results and the recall) can be found here.

FDA targets two California seafood producers over Listeria, Clostridium

Discoveries of Clostridium botulinum and Listeria monocytogenes at two separate California fish processors has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to step in.

Grub Street Los Angeles reports FDA is looking to close down Blue Ocean Smokehouse in Half Moon Bay and Yamaya in Torrance.

While Yamaya is offering to temporarily halt production and destroy all its existing products after the discovery of Listeria monocytogenes, the FDA is apparently trying to completely shut down Blue Ocean Smokehouse, citing refusal to comply with government demands after an inspection in October uncovered the presence of Clostridium botulinum in the company’s vacuum-packed hot and cold smoked products.

Inspectors claim the Half Moon Bay plant practices poor sanitation, while one regulator notes, "The company has ignored warnings by the FDA and the California Department of Public Health by continuing to sell seafood that puts consumers’ health at risk."