Berwick Meat Market Retesting Ham for Listeria Contamination

BERWICK — Meadowbrook Meat Market is in the process of retesting one of its products because of pos­sible Listeria monocytogenes con­tamination.

The product affected is fully cooked boneless ham with best before dates of April 1 and April 3.

The hams were sold at the Meadow­brook Meat Market retail store in Berwick and at Alderney Landing Farm Market in Dartmouth, with limited wholesale distribution in mainland Nova Scotia.

On Saturday morning, Meadow­brook co-owner Margie Lamb said all production of the pre-cooked hams has been stopped and any inventory put on hold.

“The fully cooked is the only product that was affected. Other products are fine because they are going to be cooked by the pur­chaser,” Lamb said. She said this is the first time the company has had to deal with a possible Listeria outbreak.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, the provincial Agricul­ture Department said there have been no reported illnesses asso­ciated with the consumption of this product. The discovery of the bac­teria was made through internal quality assurance testing.

Lamb said Meadowbrook is work­ing with the department`s food safety protocols. She said a meat process hygienist is now “looking into our cleaning process and checking everything.”

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with these bacteria may cause listeriosis, a food-borne illness. Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiff­ness and nausea.

“We wanted to be in the forefront of addressing (this problem) rather than wait. The health of our famil­ies is the most important thing,” Lamb said. “We’ve worked so hard to produce safe products and build a trust with people who buy them.”

Meadowbrook is retesting its products and will be posting results on its website.

“As we get the results back, we will be letting people know what those results are,” Lamb said.

(gparker@herald.ca)

courtesy the Chronicle Herald

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