A voluntary recall last month of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas’ Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste was based on a false-positive Listeria reading reported by an outside testing laboratory, the company said in a news release Wednesday.

Subsequent investigations and further tests by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the outside lab in question and another independent lab brought in to verify the results, all came back negative. There were no positive results in any raw material used or for any of the processing equipment.

Additionally, the other independent lab and the FDA laboratory, using the exact same gallon bottle of paste which tested positive initially, found no trace of Listeria, the company reported.


On May 16, 2011, Nielsen-Massey¹s outside testing laboratory advised Nielsen-Massey that it had detected potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination in lot no. 11123 of its Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste product as part of its regular quality control testing. Nielsen-Massey acted immediately, notifying the FDA and writing and dispatching a recall letter to its customers within 24 hours of the lab’s notification.

“We acted immediately when consumer safety became an issue,” said Craig Nielsen, chief executive officer.  “And we would do the same thing again, since an error on the side of safety is almost always the right thing to do. But it’s extremely unfortunate that a laboratory  error caused such inconvenience to our customers and consumers.  We’ve notified all our

customers and have apologized to them as well.”

Customers with questions may contact Nielsen-Massey at 800.525.PURE (7873) or 847.578.1550, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Central Daylight Time.