Kellogg Corporation Plant Cited For Listeria

Last year, Kellogg Corporation was hit with a warning letter over Eggo waffles potentially contaminated with Listeria and a federal lawsuit over peanut snacks allegedly tainted with Salmonella. In both cases, Kellogg issued massive recalls for the products involved. Now, a year later, the company is still having issues with foodborne pathogens.

Yesterday it was learned that the Kellogg Corporation has been sent a new warning letter by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) following the agency’s discovery of a number of health violations—pooling water, wet insulation, and <"">Listeria—at the company’s August, Georgia plant during its February inspection.

The FDA said that of the samples it took, 15 tested positive for the dangerous Listeria pathogen; 7 of those were taken from locations with direct food contact, said WJBF News.

While the FDA’s warning letter did not state that food from Kellogg plant was contaminated it did state that the positive listeria testing pointed to unsanitary conditions and that those conditions could cause food contamination, noted WJBF News. The FDA’s warning letter to Kellogg can be accessed at:

The warning letter also stated that FDA inspectors discovered over 100 flies at the plant and pointed out that Listeria was discovered along the production line that is direct contact with food, wrote WJBF News. Kellogg must enact a plan to ensure this doesn’t occur again or the FDA could take regulatory action without further notice, according to the agency’s letter. Kellogg’s Augusta plant is located at 1550 Marvin Grifin Road.

Doctor James Wilde, an emergency medicine physician and an expert on bacterial infections at Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU) said, “Generally when somebody comes down with listeria it’s from food contamination. Listeria exists in the world in animals and that’s usually the reservoir. It can get into food supplies, particularly milk, ice cream, cheeses, and foods like that… it’s from food contamination … again, food such as milk or ice cream. Another big category of food is processed meats … hot dogs, for instance, or some of the sandwich meats you can buy in the grocery store can be contaminated with lysteria,”

WJBF News quoted.

For susceptible populations, infection with the
Listeria pathogen can cause significant illnesses linked to the central nervous system, the developing fetus, and placenta. Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause Listeriosis, a potentially fatal foodborne Illness that infects about 2,500 people in the U.S., killing 500 each year.

Listeriosis symptoms include are high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, nausea, abdominal cramps and pain, and diarrhea. Pregnant women are 20 times likelier to be infected and Listeriosis can kill fetuses, prompt premature births, can lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and can prompt neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.

In October 2009, when we wrote that that the breakfast food giant recalled some of its popular Eggo waffles, it was after Listeria monocytogenes was discovered by the Georgia Department of Agriculture in some buttermilk Eggo waffles that were manufactured at Kellogg’s Atlanta plant.

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