Three people have died and more than 60 have fallen ill in a serious Listeria outbreak in Italy.

The Ministry of Health (Ministero della Salute) said there had been an increase in cases of listeriosis in various Italian regions, because of contamination of food by Listeria monocytogenes.

Investigations have revealed a connection between some of the 66 patients and the presence of Listeria in sausages made with poultry meat produced by Agricola Tre Valli, after sampling at the plant.

The company has withdrawn two batches that tested positive. These have codes 1785417 and 01810919. Listeria was also detected during environmental sampling at the factory so products made before Sept. 12 have been recalled. The AIA Wudy and Pavo brands with dates until Nov. 30, 2022 are affected.

Wider impact
Chicken and turkey sausages with cheese have been distributed to 30 countries mostly across Europe including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

An earlier report, when two people were known to have died and 33 were sick, suggested a link to Asiago Pressato cheese.

The outbreak of listeriosis is also believed to be affecting other European countries but officials have not yet confirmed all the details.

A statement from Agricola Tre Valli said the voluntary withdrawal procedure involves some hot dogs with the CE mark IT 04 M but added production was continuing.

“The cooperative company has started this procedure in a precautionary way in agreement with the Italian authorities, because the incorrect storage of the products and the non-compliance with the instructions on the labeling could make the food not suitable for consumption from a microbiological point of view,” said the company.

“Considering the extraordinary hot weather of this summer, the possibility that the mentioned products, once purchased, have been transported and stored improperly and consumed without complying with the instructions reported on the label, Agricola Tre Valli decided to start this precautionary activity for prudential reasons and for higher protection of consumers.

“The company also specifies that it has always operated in full compliance with the laws in force. These procedures have been followed also for the batches that are involved in the current withdrawal.”

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