Dutch authorities have linked three deaths because of Listeria to meat products from one company.
Of 20 patients with listeriosis, officials reported it was almost certain that they had been infected via meat products from a company called Offerman in the past two years. One woman also had a miscarriage.
The source of infections was traced by the RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) and NVWA (Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority).
RIVM found a certain type of Listeria in several patients. The agency then contacted the NVWA to compare this with DNA data from food and company sampling. After a match was found for a sample, follow-up work was started by the NVWA.
A total of 80 patients with Listeria infection are reported to RIVM every year.
Production halted due to Listeria
Vleeswarensnijderij Offerman stopped production of meat items at the Aalsmeer location from yesterday (October 3).
NVWA instructed the company to take action because recent sampling found there was a Listeria problem at the company.
Offerman may only resume production after the site has been thoroughly cleaned and it is given approval to do so from the NVWA. A company statement said that cutting and packaging of the meat products in question will be taken over by other factories that are part of the group.
Offerman’s customers include Aldi, Bidfood, Jumbo, Sligro and Versunie. More than 100 products were affected in the Jumbo and Sligro recalls and over 50 in the Versunie withdrawal.
November best before dates
Jumbo’s safety warning included various sliced pre-packaged meats. The supermarket was informed by Offerman, one of its meat suppliers, that the production site for these items may be contaminated with Listeria.
It asked customers not to eat the products, some of which have best before dates in late November, and to bring them back to one of its stores. Follow this link for a list of affected items.
Meat products still on the shelves are safe to consume and Jumbo hopes to have the full range available again soon.
Elderly and immunocompromised people, expectant mothers and newborn babies have an increased risk of contracting listeriosis.
Symptoms of infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache, and neck stiffness. The time between becoming infected and developing symptoms varies from a few to 70 days with an average of three weeks.
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