18 January 2013

An ongoing national investigation has linked a further seven cases of listeria to soft cheeses. There are now 18 cases of listeria infection nationally, and a link to batches of Jindi manufactured cheeses sold at delicatessens and supermarkets has been identified.

The Jindi Cheese company is now voluntarily recalling its cheeses from all batches it manufactured up until January 7.

Dr Lisa Szabo, Chief Scientist, NSW Food Authority, advised that affected Jindi cheeses should either be discarded or returned to the retailer for a refund. There are a number of brand names included in the recall. Consumers should check the list of products or call the Jindi helpline on 1800 680 175.

Professor Wayne Smith, Acting Director of Health Protection, NSW Health, advises that the recalled Jindi foods should not be consumed.

Eight cases of listeria have been identified in Victoria, six in NSW, two in Queensland and single cases in Tasmania and Western Australia. Two people – a Victorian man, 84, and a Tasmanian man, 44, have died of listeria infection, and a NSW woman miscarried.

Professor Lynn Gilbert, Clinical Lead, Infection Prevention and Control, Western Sydney Local Health District, said that at risk groups should be aware that some foods are potentially harmful to them.

“Pregnant women, and the elderly, in particular need to aware of this recall. Sadly, a woman in NSW has miscarried after contracting listeria,” said Prof Gilbert.

“Listeria is a bacteria that can affect a range of food products, particularly soft cheeses such as camembert and brie, despite strict hygiene and manufacturing controls,” Prof Gilbert said.

“The infection will cause minor or no symptoms in the vast majority of healthy people who may contract it, but is particularly dangerous for some vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and the elderly. Early symptoms of listeria include fever, headache, tiredness, aches and pains.

“It’s extremely important that at risk groups are aware of the dangers of associated with soft cheeses and what Jindi products have been recalled.”

The list of recalled products includes:

  • Wattle Valley 110g brie and camembert and Jindi 125g brie and camembert with best before dates up to 27/2/13.
  • Jindi 120g blue brie and 120g triple cream blue with best before dates up to 28/2/13.
  • Top Paddock and Blue Cow 1kg brie with best before dates up to 27/3/13.
  • Jindi, Wattle Valley and Harris Farm 200g camembert with best before dates up to 20/3/13.
  • Coles Finest triple cream blue 140g with best before dates up to 21/2/13.

Information about listeria, and the type of foods at risk, can be found on the NSW Health website at: /news/Pages/Listeria-Health-Alert.aspx

Further information about what foods to avoid can be found at: http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/foodsafetyandyou/life-events-and-food

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