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Listeria Test Causes Vanilla Bean Paste Recall

An Illinois company is recalling vanilla bean paste because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

In a news release, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas of Waukegan, IL said it is voluntarily recalling lot number 11123 of its Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste. The company said its outside testing lab, during regular quality control, found evidence of contamination on May 16.

The company said it immediately notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and customers. Craig Nielsen, chief executive officer, said as a further precaution, Nielsen-Massey would submit samples of prior and existing lots of the vanilla bean paste, as well as ingredients and production equipment swabs, to be tested for possible Listeria contamination.

There have been no reports of illness linked to Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste. The recall does not affect the company’s other products.

The vanilla bean paste was distributed throughout the United States and Canada.  It was distributed in translucent plastic one-gallon and one-quart containers under the name Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste, lot no. 11123.

Customers who purchased the product with the affected lot number can return it to Nielsen-Massey for a full refund or credit. Direct questions to Nielsen-Massey at 800-525-7873 or 847-578-1550, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Central Daylight Time.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

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