Georgia Department of Agriculture

Illinois firm recalls Vanilla Bean Paste

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black is alerting Georgians to the recall of one lot of a vanilla bean paste because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Georgia Department of Agriculture inspectors will be checking grocery stores and food warehouses to make sure the recalled product is removed from sale. Here is the recall announcement from the Food and Drug Administration:

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Inc. of Waukegan, Illinois is voluntarily recalling lot no. 11123 of its Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women

This recall extends nationally to all states of the United States and outside the United States in Canada. This recall extends to all levels of distribution, including the retail level.
The recalled product was offered in translucent plastic one-gallon- and one-quart-size containers under the name Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste, lot no. 11123, through a variety of distribution channels including direct delivery to business customers, distributors and retail sales.

There have been no reports of illness related to Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste.

On May 16, 2011, Nielsen-Massey’s outside testing laboratory advised Nielsen-Massey that it had detected potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination in lot no. 11123 of its Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste product as part of its regular quality control testing. Nielsen-Massey acted immediately, notifying the FDA and writing and dispatching a recall letter to its customers within 24 hours of the lab’s notification. This recall does not affect Nielsen-Massey’s other products.

“We acted immediately when consumer safety became an issue,” said Craig Nielsen, chief executive officer. “As a further precaution, Nielsen-Massey is submitting samples of prior and existing lots of the Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste, as well as raw materials and production equipment swabs to be tested for possible Listeria contamination.”

Customers who purchased any of the affected lot number have been urged to remove the product from sale, cease distribution and return the product to Nielsen-Massey for a full refund or credit. Customers with questions may contact Nielsen-Massey at 800-525-PURE (7873) or 847-578-1550, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM Central Daylight Time.

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