Listeria: How to win the war that never ends

Risk. It’s an inescapable part of life that’s always around us, invisible … until it’s not. In the food industry, safety risks, such as listeriosis – a pathogenic bacterial infection – can threaten the strongest of brands, people’s health and even their lives.

According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand, each year in Australia around 150 people are hospitalised with listeriosis and about 15 people die. Recent tragedy provides another reminder that the war against human pathogens goes on and on. Although the rate is declining, Australia has seen eight Listeria-related product recalls in the past 18 months.

The tactical warfare waged by the global food industry against food safety threats is multifaceted and grows increasingly sophisticated. Manufacturing facilities take ever-greater measures to ensure that equipment is as sterile as possible and pathogens don’t enter the processing stream. Molecular diagnostic pathogen test kits are getting shorter time to results. Packaging solutions such as antimicrobial sachets, films, coatings and high-pressure processing (HPP) also contribute to the cause. Foods are formulated to include antimicrobial ingredients that inhibit microbial outgrowth.

Food safety is complicated
“It’s difficult for manufacturers to know when the safety measures they’ve taken are truly sufficient,” said Andrew Pearce, ANZ country manager at Corbion, an ingredient solutions provider known for its expertise in food preservation. “When hygienic practices and ingredient solutions are in place, and no problems are detected, it’s easy to believe that there are no problems.”

Corbion works with food manufacturers to implement high-performance safety and shelf life solutions in a wide variety of applications, including bakery, meat, culinary, confectionery, dairy and beverage products. Although the company has been honing its expertise in this area for 80+ years, Pearce said finding the best solution to a given customer’s challenge is never a simple matter.

“Food safety may start with minimizing the microbial load in the raw materials and equipment used to process a food product,” Pearce said, “but then it comes down to the conditions in the product itself and whether those conditions support or inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria. It’s next to impossible to create a perfectly sterile product, so making sure you make it difficult for unwanted microbes to grow is crucial in food safety.”

The composition of the product is everything, Pearce explained. It’s not just that the right solution for a salad dressing is different than it is for a deli ham product; the best answer for a cured deli ham may be quite different from what’s needed in uncured deli shredded chicken. Protein and water quality, sodium content, and other ingredients all impact the chemistry of the food matrix. The lower the pH (i.e., higher acidity), the less hospitable the product is toward microorganisms. If the product’s storage temperature isn’t low enough, bacteria are better able to grow.

Listeria monocytogenes is a major concern for food regulators and manufacturers in part because it can grow even at refrigerated temperatures and in products with low water activity. While Listeria is inactivated at cooking temperatures, it can often re-enter the food supply following heat treatment.

Rising to the reformulation challenge
Adding another level of complexity to the challenge for manufacturers is the fact that incorporating a food safety solution has the potential to wreak havoc with important aspects of product quality and sensory appeal – things like flavor, texture, and shelf stability.

Thinking about what it takes to make consumers happy, in addition to keeping them safe, can also put limits on the kinds of ingredient solutions that can be considered. An increasing number of consumers check ingredient labels before purchasing foods in an effort to avoid ingredients they don’t understand or aren’t comfortable with. This challenges manufacturers to deliver the same product attributes (including safety) using more “natural” solutions they may never have worked with before.

“Reformulating food products is a complex undertaking because every part of a food matrix is connected to every other part,” Pearce said. “It takes an in-depth understanding of those interdependencies to be able to change one component of a formulation without losing important product characteristics.”

The process of reformulation is iterative, involving a sometimes lengthy series of sensory and microbial tests, each including small changes in dosages, ingredient composition and other factors. Corbion uses a combination of experience and advanced, data-driven modeling tools to quickly identify the optimal solution that meets the manufacturer’s food safety requirements while preserving the attributes of product quality that are so important to creating success in the marketplace. The Corbion Listeria Control Model, for one, leverages data from more than a decade of clinical studies, internal challenge studies, and external validation studies in real food matrices  to estimate the effectiveness of various pathogen control solutions, considering moisture level, pH, water activity, and levels of sodium, potassium and nitrite.

The right ally can make the difference
For food manufacturers, a dedication to achieving hygienic conditions within their own facilities and supply chains is an important part of what it takes to create foods that begin the journey to the consumer as microbiologically safe. But maintaining non-pathogenic integrity throughout that journey – including the product’s lifespan on the customer’s shelf – requires a level of know-how that can’t be taken for granted, even among ingredient suppliers, according to Pearce.

Having access to outside ingredient knowledge and microbiological expertise to complement in-house strengths can speed product development, result in a superior end product and dramatically reduce food safety risks that could threaten the public and the manufacturer’s brand. Choosing the right partner can improve outcomes by combining strengths in innovation, formulation, modeling, manufacturing, quality testing, market insights and other industry best practices.

Since producers prioritize their product safety programs, the outlook is good, Pearce said. “The food industry will never be able to stop fighting against Listeria and other pathogens, but with the help of food safety experts and state-of-the-art ingredient solutions, manufacturers – and consumers – can keep winning.”

Sixth person dies as result of listeria linked to rockmelon

A NSW woman in her 90s with significant underlying health conditions has died from listeriosis, taking the number of deaths linked to contaminated rockmelon to six – three people from NSW and three from Victoria.

The total number of people affected nationwide remains at 19.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director Communicable Diseases NSW Health said the woman had developed listeriosis before the outbreak was identified.

“There have been no new cases notified associated with the outbreak in NSW since 19 February when it was first identified,” Dr Sheppeard said.

“It is still possible that more cases will be linked to the outbreak given the incubation period for the disease is up to 70 days, however there is no ongoing risk of listeriosis from rockmelons now on sale.

“It is important to know that people fall ill with listeriosis every year but most of the cases are never related to an outbreak like we are seeing. Sadly, up to one third of those who do contract the disease will die.”

Listeria is found widely in the environment and rarely causes serious illness in the general population but for vulnerable people, such as those who are over 70, pregnant, or have diabetes or suppressed immune systems, it can be extremely serious or even life threatening.

NSW Health was first notified on 19 February of possible links between two NSW listeriosis patients and a Victorian patient, which indicated there could be an outbreak. NSW Health and the NSW Food Authority acted immediately to examine those cases and find the source of the infection.

Once the investigation identified the source of the infection – rockmelons from a single farm – these rockmelons were immediately recalled from market.

“People at risk of listeriosis should always take care with handling and storage of food, including not purchasing pre-cut melons, salads, bagged lettuce, deli meats, raw seafood and sprouted seeds,” Dr Sheppeard said.

Listeria outbreak linked to rockmelon claims two more victims

Four Australians have now died after eating rockmelon contaminated with Listeria.

According to NSW Health, in total, 17 people across the country have been affected by the outbreak. Two of the deaths occurred in NSW and two in Victoria.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director Communicable Diseases NSW Health, said both new cases became ill before the contaminated rockmelons were recalled from market on 28 February.

“Listeriosis has a long incubation period – up to 70 days. Therefore there are multiple foods consumed and retailers used by the cases, which need to be thoroughly investigated and the findings matched to specialist laboratory test results, to determine the source,” Dr Sheppeard said.

“NSW Health responded immediately with the NSW Food Authority and other state health departments to pinpoint the cause and advise vulnerable groups how to minimise their risk.

“All state and national guidelines have been followed and public warnings issued here and interstate when the food source was identified.”

Listeria is found widely in the environment and rarely causes serious illness in the general population, but for vulnerable people, such as those who are over 70, pregnant, or have diabetes or suppressed immune systems, it can be extremely serious or even life threatening.

“Typically around one third of people who fall ill with listeriosis die every year. Most of the cases are never related to an outbreak like this one we’re seeing with the rockmelon contamination,” Dr Sheppeard said.



New categorisation of food scares to help prevent food chain compromises


Researchers from the University of Surrey have developed a new comprehensive categorisation of food scares, a new study in the British Food Journal reports.

The food sector is now a world market with products sourced from all over the globe to meet the growing demand of consumers for diverse food stuffs regardless of seasonality. Fulfilling such demands has led to the creation of complex food supply chains which have limited traceability and accountability mechanisms, increasing the likelihood of food scares.

Researchers in this study found that a single, comprehensive and useable categorisation of food scares did not exist. Such categorisations are useful in developing strategies for reducing the frequency and severity of scares. However, those in existence were deemed to be too simplistic as they did not allow for cross categorisation of factors which could compromise the food chain.

To give greater clarity and consistency to the sector, researchers from the University of Surrey worked with industry experts to develop a new categorisation system. Unlike previous systems, this new categorisation structure enables a food scare to be classified according to both its physical manifestation (chemical/physical or biological contamination) and the origins of the scare (wilful deception and/or transparency and awareness issues).

By highlighting where and how the nature of different types of food scares overlap, this classification will enable risk management teams to address categories of potential scares in a systematic way and develop effective strategies to avoid future occurrences.

Co- author of the report Professor Angela Druckman from the University of Surrey said: “With food scares becoming more frequent, it is important that we have a categorisation system which enables efficient development of strategies to tackle such compromises to our food supply.”

Dr Elizabeth Whitworth from RSK ADAS, and formerly of the University of Surrey, said: “The salient feature of the new categorisation is that it distinguishes between scares caused by wilful deception, and those that are caused by transparency and awareness issues.”

During the study researchers also found current definitions of the term ‘food scare’ to be inadequate as they fail to acknowledge consumers’ lack of trust in the food chain. Researchers pointed to the 2013 horse meat scandal, which although was not harmful for human consumption, created a wariness amongst consumers of the food and supply chain.

Hence a new definition of a food scare was developed:

“A food scare is the response to a food incident (real or perceived) that causes a sudden disruption to the food supply chain and to food consumption patterns.”

This new recommended definition takes into account that it is the response of consumers in their purchasing decisions that elevates a food incident to a food scare.


Researchers targeting chicken-related food poisoning

Deakin University scientists are working on a way to eradicate a bacteria in chickens that’s responsible for more than a million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year.

More than four million Australians suffer from food poisoning each year, with the Campylobacter pathogen responsible for over a quarter of these cases. There are many sources of Campylobacter, with a key one being raw chicken meat.

Two molecular biologists from Deakin’s School of Medicine, Dr Tamsyn Crowley and Dr Sarah Shigdar, have been awarded a Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation grant, valued at more than $1 million, to try to reduce Campylobacter from chickens.

Over the next three years, the two will investigate new ways to suppress the growth of Campylobacter in chickens prior to processing, and are confident they can find a solution.

Most often found in chicken, Campylobacter are one of the four most common causes of food poisoning, along with Salmonella, E. Coli and Listeria. Sufferers experience gastroenteritis symptoms such as diarrhoea and vomiting.

The project leader, Dr Crowley, said that while more than four million Australians were reported to suffer food poisoning each year from various pathogens, the actual number was likely to be much higher as many milder cases are never reported.

“Our research will focus on using nanotechnology to kill Campylobacter before it can cause problems in humans,” Dr Crowley said.

“We will be looking at very small molecules that can be used to bind substances to specifically target bacterial growth. It doesn’t matter exactly how the growth is suppressed, whether we paralyse the bacteria or prevent them from absorbing nutrients, or through some other means. This leaves us many possibilities to achieve our goal.”

Dr Crowley said once the most suitable molecule has been identified, researchers could focus on devising the best way to deliver these into the poultry, either through water or food, which will take place in the few days before the chickens are processed.


New Coliform and E.coli test for water

AMSL Scientific has released EC Blue, a rapid Coliform and E.coli test for water samples.

Traditional methods for testing Coliforms in water often requires filtering the sample which adds to the time, complexity and cost of performing a test.

Using this new test, results are available in 18-24 hours and a simple colour change from clear to blue will indicate the presence of total Coliforms. If E.coli is present, then the sample will also fluoresce under UV Light.

The test kit is ready to use, shelf stable, and available in several different formats, such as jars, sachets and tubes. The jars are ultra-convenient as they are sterile and ready to use, all you need to do is add 100ml of sample to the container and incubate. The sachets are versatile as you can add the media to any sample in a suitable container such as a bottle or Whirl-Pak bag.

Quantitative results with EC Blue are also available via the use of the tubes or the MPN Tray.



Investigation into possible Salmonella link with rockmelon

State and territory food enforcement agencies are investigating cases of Salmonella, possibly associated with rockmelon, following an increase in cases in a number of states.

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) said in a statement that, until further information is received, consumers (especially infants, the elderly, pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems) should not consume rockmelon.

FSANZ will continue to work with the state and territory enforcement agencies and the Federal Department of Health and update its advice to consumers.

According to a NSW Health study, a number of NSW consumers fell ill with Salmonella poisoning after eating rockmelons. The study suggests whole and sliced rockmelons could contain Salmonella.

Rockmelons have been linked to Salmonella poisonings in the past, notably the United States during the 1950s, 1960s and in 2002.

The NSW Food Authority is advising consumers to take some simple precautions to minimise the risk from Salmonella in rockmelons. These include not buying damaged fruit, washing and refrigerating fruit; and washing hands, utensils and cutting boards after eating.

FSANZ approves Salmonelex as processing aid against Salmonella

Salmonelex is the second phage product for food safety accepted in Australia and New Zealand after an earlier approval of Listex against Listeria monocytogenes.  It is produced by Micreos of The Netherlands, leader in phage technology.

“The use of Salmonella phages to treat raw meat and raw poultry meat will reduce the exposure of the community to Salmonella from these foods, resulting in less illness. This will reduce the burden on Government to treat illnesses associated with salmonellosis,” said the FSANZ final approval report for Salmonelex.

Salmonelex is misted onto the surface and kills Salmonella without any sensory effects, and is certified organic. As a processing-aid it does not require labelling. After approvals in the USA it may now be used in Aus/NZ to control Salmonella on meat and poultry products.

Salmonella is one of the most commonly reported causes of foodborne illness, with raw fresh meat and poultry often implicated as a source of infection. Fresh raw meat and poultry can be contaminated with Salmonella, which can cause illness if meat is consumed under-cooked or if cross contamination occurs during handling and preparation.

Phage Technology

Phages are the most abundant micro-organisms on our planet. They are harmless to humans, animals and plants and are naturally present in high numbers on our skin, in our gut, in our environment, in our water and many of our foods. We consume high numbers of phages with our food, without any impact on human health or on taste and enjoyment of the food.

Phage technology is set to replace antibiotics and chemicals in many applications, as it can be used for targeted control of only unwanted bacteria. Phages are essential for life on earth, and kill roughly half of all bacteria on the planet every two days.

NSW bakery fined over salmonella outbreak

Betta Maid, an Unanderra bakery which closed last year, has been fined for selling unsafe food and breaching hygiene standards.

Wollongong Local Court fined the company a total of $63,000 plus $20,000 in court costs.

The charges were brought against the company in response to the NSW Food Authority’s investigation into a salmonella outbreak in 10 aged care facilities on the NSW South Coast and ACT between January and March 2015.

As the Illawarra Mercury reports, two residents died and 30 fell ill with a rare strain of salmonella at the facilities of aged care provider IRT.

Betta Maid supplied meat pies, potato pies, sausage rolls and other baked goods to IRT. Some of these were contaminated with a rare strain of salmonella.

The Local Court Magistrate Beattie, agreed with the Food Authority’s submission that there was a hygiene failure and fined the company accordingly.

The Food Authority said in a statement that it was pleased with a decision

“This court result serves as a reminder to all food businesses why food safety systems are crucial, particularly those businesses serving food to the most vulnerable in our community,” said Lisa Szabo, Chief Executive Officer, NSW Food Authority.

“Food businesses are obliged to ensure their food is safe and suitable for human consumption and comply with the standards in the NSW Food Act 2003,” she said.

Charges brought against Betta Maid director, Udo Boschan, have been adjourned to May 26.

Lasers could save us from food poisoning

Scientists in South Korea have developed a fridge-mountable laser that can detect microorganisms in food products and alert potential consumers accordingly.

The researchers from the Korea Advanced Institutes of Science and Technologydescribed the technique as “a simple, non-destructive, non-contact, and rapid optical method for measuring living microorganisms in meat products using laser speckle decorrelation”.

“By simply measuring dynamic speckle intensity patterns reflected from samples and analyzing the temporal correlation time, the presence of living microorganisms can be non-invasively detected with high sensitivity,” the researchers continued.

As points out, they then contaminated some chicken breasts with E. coli or B. cereus and used the laser technique to test them. In addition, they tested some chicken which was not contaminated.

They successfully identified which pieces were contaminated and would cause food poisoning if consumed and which were safe to eat.

Compared to other methods of detecting microorganisms, this method is simple, cheap and non-invasive. And the lasers can even detect microorganisms through plastic wrapping.

However, the fridge laser technique has its limits. It is unable to detect contaminants that don’t move, like viruses or toxins.

Anti-Salmonella and anti-Listeria food packaging

Erze Ambalaj, the largest producer of expanding foam packaging for food in Turkey, together with Parx Plastics has developed antimicrobial packaging that significantly reduces the growth of Salmonella, Listeria, E.Coli and Staphylococcus Aureus in food packaging. 

The laboratory results are an antibacterial surface, measured according to ISO 22196 by the Independent University of Ferrara in Italy, of 92,5% against Listeria, 96% against Salmonella, and up to 96,5% against Staphylococcus Aureus. 

This means this improved food packaging has scientifically-proven, 93-97% less bacteria on the surface of the material after 24 hours compared to normal food packaging.

By reducing the presence of bacteria after the manufacturing of the packaging material, during the transport of the packaging material, during packaging of the food and during the shelf life period of the product, the right conditions have been created to prevent contamination, and to provide the best possible shelf life for food products.

The Parx technology does not use biocides and the trace element used is compliant to the European regulations for plastics that come into contact of food.

Good manufacturing practice key to reducing listeria risk

Between 2005 and 2014 more than 586 product recalls were initiated by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), with 198 due to Listeria Monocytogenes contamination, writes Bonnie Tai. 

With meat and dairy more susceptible to contracting the potentially-lethal pathogen than any other food product, FSANZ spokesman Raphael May told Food Magazine that it’s important that plant managers and staff gain a good understanding around the risks associated with Listeria. 
“Basic principles for controlling listeria in food include equipment and facilities that should be designed, constructed and laid out to ensure clean-ability, minimisation of harbourage sites and prevention of cross-contamination,” he says. 
“They should also be controlled to minimise the growth of Listeria Monocytogenes in the finished product, and to reduce the likelihood that the product will be re-contaminated or will support the growth of Listeria during subsequent distribution, marketing and home use.”

Although Listeria has been known for at least 60 years, it has only been linked to foodborne disease since the early 1980s. Since then, the pathogen has become recognised as an important food poisoning bacterium. 
While healthy individuals can become infected with Listeria, the most at-risk are the elderly, the young, pregnant women, and those with a compromised immune system. 

Despite the fact that there are a number of other pathogens that affect the food manufacturing industry, Listeria is perhaps one of the most dangerous. 
This is because the foodborne bacterium – when present in food – shows no difference in taste, smell or appearance; leading people into a false sense of security that the contaminated item is, in fact, safe to eat. 

With its unique ability to thrive and survive in even refrigerated conditions, ranging from below 1°c up to 44°c, Listeria is an organism that can fast become a lethal liability for food manufacturing industries if floor-staff are not properly educated on the dangers of an outbreak. 
So far there have only been two major recorded outbreaks of Listeriosis in Australia, reports Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).  Once in 1990, when six stillborns, following an autopsy, were discovered to have all been infected with the same subtype of Listeria, found in a particular brand of Pate. 

The next episode occurred in 1991, after three people who ingested the same brand of smoke mussels became violently ill. An unopened packet of mussels was subsequently tested and was found to contain 107 listeria cells per gram – despite industry-dictated ‘safe’ levels sitting at less than 10 cells per gram. 
Sporadic cases still occur in Australia, with around 40 being reported per year. The numbers overseas, however, are significantly higher and the outbreaks much more severe. 

According to the MLA, 86 to 314 cases of Listeriosis were linked to the consumption of branded Mexican-style cheese in the US, resulting in a 30 per cent mortality rate among those infected. The pathogen was later traced back to the factory, and it was discovered that raw untreated milk was added to the pasteurised cheese to enhance flavour. 

As Listeria Monocytogenes is a ubiquitous organism that is found in a wide variety of environmental niches, it can be extremely difficult to eliminate from the processing environment, explained Mr May, and instead particular emphasis should be placed on minimising the risk as much as possible. 
“Data shows the rate of notifications [of Listeriosis] has remained steady over the last 10 years,” he says.
“As it is difficult to completely eliminate the risk…communications campaigns targeted at vulnerable populations, have been developed to improve awareness.”

The steps you can take to protect your plant
Microbial contamination can severely impact a food processing plant’s brand equity, authority and reputation, so it’s vital to follow FSANZ’s two-step approach to reduce the risk of Listeria spread.  
1. Environmental Monitoring 
The food processing environment should be regularly monitored and tested for L. monocytogenes or a surrogate such as Listeria spp. This is particularly important in facilities producing ready-to-eat foods that can support the growth of listeria, and should be undertaken to verify that cleaning and sanitation programs are working and there is control of niches and harbourage sites. 
Sampling and testing methods used should be sufficient to provide confidence that the environment is under control or to help clearly identify that further follow up actions are required. 
2. Process Control
Cross lot testing of finished products should be implemented to assess the performance of food safety control systems from within the plant. This helps to verify that the production and processing controls put in place are working effectively. 

To ensure that corrective actions are being implemented before microbiological criteria is exceeded; a sample schedule should be put in place as appropriate to the operations of the food business. 


Food exec gets 28-year sentence for poisoning outbreak

According to the Washington Post, former peanut company owner Stewart Parnell has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for his role in a salmonella outbreak that killed nine people and sickened hundreds between 2008 and 2009 in the US.

The sentence said the Washington Post story, “marked the most severe punishment ever for a food-related crime.” 

Parnell’s now-bankrupt company, Peanut Corp. of America, found salmonella contamination six times in its peanuts between 2007 and 2008, according to investigators.

The investigators documented a long list of unsanitary conditions at the plant, including mould, cockroaches, dirty food processing equipment, rodent activity, along with the failure to separate raw and cooked products. 

They also unearthed e-mails that showed Parnell hastily approving shipments he knew might be contaminated, according to the Washington Post.

Company supervisor Michael Parnell and Stewart Parnell’s brother also received a prison sentence of 20 years. Another employee, a quality-control manager at the plant, who was convicted of obstruction of justice, received a 5-year sentence.

“We think the sentence itself is extremely high,” said Parnell’s attorney, who also added that, “He’s obviously disappointed, but we knew it was a likelihood something like this could happen.”

Parnell will appeal the verdict, said the Washington Post story.

Rentokil says pests cost $1.7 billion in lost revenue

Rentokil has released its own research into the threats and impacts of pests to businesses across Australia.

The report found that during 2014, Australian businesses affected by pest infestations also experienced a significant increase in their operating costs, collectively spending $796 million, while revenues declined by $1.7 billion. 

On average, an incident of pest infestation in Australian business lasted for just under three weeks. Food-based businesses were particularly vulnerable with 12 per cent of companies within this industry reporting losing more than 10 working days as a result of pest infestation. 

A significant 37 per cent of respondents experienced three incidents or more over a five-year period, and on average one pest infestation occurs just over every two years.

The report also revealed adverse impacts on staff morale (over 30 per cent) was the main impact on business costs in Australia, as a direct result of pest infestation. In addition, 20 per cent of businesses reported damaged goods, and replacement, maintenance and repair costs.

Alain Moffroid, Rentokil Initial Managing Director, Pacific said pests do not discriminate.

“Any size business operating in any type of industry across the globe can be vulnerable. Our analysts attribute this to our own population growth, urbanisation and heightened mobility, all of which is making it easier for mammals, birds and insects to spread, find shelter, feed, and reproduce – often at speed. As each year passes, businesses can become more prone to pests and are experiencing damaging – and costly – consequences.”

“A business’ reputation, relationships with its customers, clients, suppliers and of course its employees are all at stake when a pest infestation occurs in the workplace. At Rentokil we see first-hand how a single pest infestation, however small, can encourage repeat occurrences – particularly if the original issue is not effectively handled from the outset. A structured approach is crucial in ensuring any potential infestation scenario is covered to reduce the likelihood of an infestation taking place.”

Other key research findings:

  • A massive 83 per cent of Australia businesses have experienced incidences of pest infestations over the last five years
  • Almost 50 per cent of pest infestations in Australian businesses lasted between 1-2 weeks
  • The most common pests that affected businesses were cockroaches (51 per cent mice (34 per cent Ants (27 per cent and rats (25 per cent)
  • Just under 30 per cent experienced brand loyalty damage and damage to reputation or customer trust due to pest infestations 

RECALL NOTICE: Cottage Cheese Farm Goats Fetta

Cottage Cheese Farm Pty Ltd has recalled Cottage Cheese Farm Goats Fetta Cheese from Cottage Cheese Farm and Middle East Bakeries in Victoria due to microbial (E.coli) contamination. Food products contaminated with E.coli may cause illness if consumed. Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Date notified to FSANZ


Food type


Product name

Cottage Cheese Farm Goats Fetta Cheese

Package description and size

Plastic 2.3L tub (height – 145mm x diameter – 176mm), 1kg

Date marking

Use By 03 Jan 16, 05 Jan 16 and 06 Jan 16

Country of origin


Reason for recall

Microbial (E.coli) contamination


Cottage Cheese Farm and Middle East Bakeries in Victoria

Consumer advice

Food products contaminated with E.coli may cause illness if consumed. Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.


Cottage Cheese Farm Pty Ltd

03 9306 2516