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Sanford Havelock Mussel Meat Listeria Issue



Press Release 27 November 2007

Sanford Havelock Mussel Meat Listeria Issue

Sanford Limited has advised customers and relevant authorities that Listeria monocytogenes has been identified at a low level in some Greenshell Mussel meat produced by our Havelock facility. The relevant mussel meat has been processed on a processing line dedicated only to the production of Mussel meat.

Product analysis has confirmed that the level of contamination is low and not likely to cause a serious food safety risk if the product is destined for use where a heating step is involved and/or it is cooked prior to consumption.

However the company has been taking a precautionary approach and has advised and been in communication with all its customers to hold any relevant production well in advance of formal notification of recall. Sanford has been able to use its sophisticated labelling and tracking system where each individual carton of product can be identified throughout the distribution chain and only product that is at risk from possible contamination is being withdraw or held by customers.

Greenshell Mussel meat is sold as requiring cooking before consumption and is predominantly an export product. Cooking before consumption renders Listeria harmless and eliminates any food safety risk in relation to this organism.

Using documented Risk Management Programmes and in conjunction with the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA), the Company is managing this event which includes holding potentially affected product and carrying out retrospective testing to ensure product safety.


Q1 How much product is involved in the recall?

A1 Approximately 280 tonnes of mussel meat.

Q2 Where has the product been exported to?

A2 United States, Canada, Spain, Hong Kong, Germany, Australia, Bulgaria, Greece, Japan, Malta, United Kingdom

Q3 What product has been sold on the local market?

A3 Mussel meat has been sold to a limited number of customers in the Nelson area and two companies that further process the product. Sanford has voluntarily recalled product from these customers where it has not already been used.


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