US: Inspectors find Listeria at Bidart Bros. cooling and packing house
Food Safety News: Inspector observations from the investigation into the role of Bidart Bros. in last year’s 12-state outbreak of Listeriosis involving commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples found that the problem could well have originated in the California grower’s apple cooler and packing facility.
That outbreak required the hospitalization of 34 of 35 people from 12 states who were sickened. Before the outbreak ended, seven of them were dead, and Listeriosis was blamed for the deaths of at least three of them.
Areas inside the Bidart Bros. packing plant where Listeria positives were found were on polishing brushes, drying brushes, packing line drain, inside a wood bin, and on an automatic line.
Also called out were a damaged conveyor belt with chipping and peeling paint on the transfer chute on the Granny’s Best packaging line, and green vinyl-coated padding lining the transfer chute to the peeler had frayed edges and exposed foam-like material.