Listeria found at US Kellogg bakery

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 16th June 2011

The US Food and Drug Administration has found traces of listeria at an Augusta, Georgia, bakery owned and operated by US cereal giant Kellogg.In a letter released yesterday (14 June), the food safety regulator said that listeria was detected at “several” points along a production line that comes into direct contact with food.

The FDA added that other food safety issues at the plant included insects found near to food storage areas.

The plant manufactures Kellogg’s Keebler and Famous Amos branded cookies. Finished cookies manufactured at the site were not found to contain listeria, the FDA said.

Responding to the news, a spokesperson for Kellogg told just-food that the company had undertaken a number of steps to address the issues highlighted by the safety watchdog.

“The safety of our food is of utmost importance to Kellogg,” the spokesperson insisted. “We take this situation very seriously. We have undertaken a number of aggressive actions to address their concerns including comprehensive cleaning and extensive testing.”

In February last year, the FDA revealed that it had detected listeria at a Georgia manufacturing facility that produced Eggo breakfast waffles. As a consequence of this and other manufacturing issues, Kellogg experienced a national shortage of Eggo products that persisted through the first half of fiscal 2010 and dented US sales during the period.

Concern over this latest food safety issue caused Kellogg shares to dip from an open of US$55.82 to close yesterday at $54.96.