Investigating case of listeria

Mon, 13. Jul. 2020

The Gstaad dairy has started a recall of its Gstaad mountain cheese due to listeria in the herb coating. Investigations into the possible causes are underway.

The Gstaad dairy has started a recall of its Gstaad mountain cheese due to listeria in the herb coating. Investigations into the possible causes are underway.

In a press release issued by the Federal Office for Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs (BLV) on Friday, 3 July, a warning was issued against the listeria contamination in Gstaad mountain cheese with herb coating from the Gstaad dairy. The recall concerns the cheese with a best-before date of 4 July 2020 to 8 August 2020 sold at Coop and in cheese shops.

The BLV recommends not to consume the affected product. In people with an intact immune system, an infection with listeria is usually mild or even without symptoms. Infants or people with weakened immune defences, however, can become seriously ill. During pregnancy a listeria infection can lead to miscarriage or the child can be born with blood poisoning or meningitis.

Regular checks
The listeria contamination was discovered during the inspection of cheese samples, which the Gstaad dairy routinely orders from a laboratory, explains managing director René Ryser. During such a monitoring, the herb coating tested positive for listeria, whereupon the dairy immediately informed the BLV.

The dairy has a certified quality management system. According to this system, at least four listeria checks are carried out per year. “When a new product is added to the range or when production starts in a new plant, we even commission more checks in the initial phase until perfect quality of the production process and products is assured,” explains Ryser.

Investigation underway
The origin of the contamination was located at an external site of the dairy, where the cheese received its herb coating. According to Ryser, this is currently sealed. The Gstaad dairy has never had an incident of this kind before, although listeria are low-demanding and fairly common bacteria.

Investigations are currently being made as to how exactly the listeria could be transported to the external site. Based on the results of the investigation, appropriate measures will be taken to prevent another contamination.

BASED ON AVS/SONJA WOLF

 

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