Global Garlic recalls Fresh Curd over Listeria risk

That’s right; the garlic I used to make pasta with clams ,and salmon last night could have been contaminated with Listeria (but I didn’t use curd).

FDARecall-121014Global Garlic Inc. is recalling De Mi Pais products – Cuajada Fresca (Fresh Curd) and Cuajada Olanchana (Fresh Curd) – due to possible contamination with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

The recall was implemented after product sampling at the manufacturing company revealed the presence of bacteria in the finished products.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause food-borne illness in a person who consumes food item contaminated with it. Symptoms of infection may include fever, muscle aches, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. The illness primarily impacts pregnant women and adults with weakened immune systems.

The recalled products were distributed in Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, and North Carolina from April 1st through October 14, 2014 to distributors and retail stores. The labels of both the affected products sport the same UPC code of 896211002380 and have the Best by dates of 07/01/14 through 12/31/14.

Consumers who have purchased the products in question are requested to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. 

When is organic ever safer? Production standard only

National Public Radio in the U.S. – or as Colbert calls their programming, state-sponsored jazz – ran a story entitled, Organic isn’t always safer when it comes to botulism.

When is organic ever safer? It’s a production standard.

The story about Organic Italian olives is a timely reminder that if Clostridium botulinim, the bacteria that causes botulism, makes it as far as a jar packed with oil and not much oxygen, it can flourish.

"It’s the perfect environment for botulinum to grow," says Eric Johnson, a professor of microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Johnson said the case reminded him of an outbreak in the 1980s, which was caused by chopped garlic packed in oil. "Garlic is from the soil, so it has spores of botulinum in it.” The oil floats on top of the jar and seals out air, leaving water to collect at the bottom, where it acts like a Petri dish for botulism.

After the outbreak in chopped garlic, the FDA told garlic processors add phosphoric acid. The higher acid level thwarts bacterial growth. Another strategy used by big commercial processors is a "bot cook," which involves cooking foods at high temperatures under pressure to wipe out spores.