On February 17, the Government issued a recall for a prepackaged kale salad blend. The recall was issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) following tests that discovered Listeria monocytogenes in the product. The product in question was a ready-to-eat kale salad blend known as the Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad Bag Kit. Of those kits, the only ones affected by the recall were the 340-gram packages, which had the code UPC 7 09351 89145 8 and a best-before date of Feb. 16. They were pulled from shelves, and Canadians who had purchased them were warned to throw away or return the kits. While the recall has been addressed and the affected products removed, there are some important lessons that those interested in food safety can learn from it.
Continue reading to learn more about the kale salad recall.
1. The Recall Affected Ontario, N. B., and N. L., but Might Become National
At the present moment, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has only issued the recall for the provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. However, it cautions that an investigation is underway to learn more about how the foods became infected. Graduates of a food safety course might know that this type of investigation could lead to further announcements. In fact, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency warns that if new information comes to light during the course of the investigation, further products may be affected and the recall could even become a national matter.
2. So Far, There Have Been No Reported Illnesses
While recalls are always a stressful matter for consumers and food safety professionals, there is some good news that comes with this current recall: so far, no reported illnesses have occurred. Yet while this information is encouraging for now, experts warn that it is still too early for celebration.
The bacteria involved in the contamination, Listeria monocytogenes, does not cause infected food to look, smell, or taste differently than it normally would. This means that it is possible that some people consumed the product without realising its potential dangers. In addition, the bacteria can cause Listeria up to 70 days after a person has consumed an infected product. As a result, anyone who thinks they may have consumed the recalled salad kit is advised to monitor their health and watch out for any symptoms of Listeria infection. The government has warned affected Canadians to watch for “vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness.” In addition, it warns that “Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, the infection can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.” For these reasons, while some may be feeling cautiously optimistic, it is important to keep a close eye for further developments.
3. The Issue Was Discovered Through Sampling Testing
The incident highlights just how important prevention and proper procedures are. It also helps to highlight the importance of sampling testing, which helped to catch and address the issue quickly.
Sampling testing can help uncover any contaminants in products, including the Listeria monocytogenes that were caught in the kale salad recall. Sampling testing can help to catch anything from E.coli to allergens and physical hazards such as pieces of metal or glass. For anyone interested in a rewarding career, a food technology diploma could be an excellent fit. The professionals who catch potentially harmful products and prevent issues from occurring work hard to keep Canadians safe.
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