Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Two Dead in Australian Listeria Outbreak Linked to Soft Cheese

A Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to soft cheeses has sickened 18 people in Australia; two victims have died and one woman miscarried as a result of infection with the bacteria.

The outbreak began in November of 2012, at which time an 84-year-old man from Victoria and a 44-year-old Tasmanian man died as a result of their illnesses, and a New South Wales woman suffered a miscarriage.  By mid-December, 11 cases of listeriosis (Listeria infection) had been identified as part of the outbreak, and brie and camembert cheese sold under the brand names of Jindi and Wattle Valley were implicated as the source of the bacteria.

As a result, health authorities announced a recall of four types of cheeses - 1kg packages of Jindi brie, 1kg packages of Jindi camembert, 1kg  packages of Wattle Valley double brie and 1kg packages of Wattle Valley camembert – all with a best before date of December 21.

Now a further seven cases have been connected to the outbreak, health authorities announced Friday. Officials also expanded the recall to include all cheeses manufactured by the Jindi company up to and including January 6.

The implicated  sold at delicatessens and independent supermarkets throughout Australia, according to a Friday public health notice from the Victoria Department of Health.

“Department officials visited the Jindi factory in Jindivick on Wednesday, and were satisfied that appropriate food processing, hygiene and monitoring practices were being followed for the manufacture of products from January 7,” reported the department.

“On January 7 it implemented an even stricter regime of product testing and quality control, which Jindi is confident will ensure that all cheeses it sells are safe and free of bacterial contamination,” said the Victoria Department of Health’s chief health officer, Dr. Michael Ackland, in a statement Friday.

© Food Safety News