Investigations follow Jindi Cheese listeria fatalities

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 21st January 2013

Ongoing investigations have linked a further seven cases of illness to Australia’s award-winning Jindi soft cheeses, following the deaths of two men and a miscarriage by a woman after eating Jindi Cheese.

Victoria’s acting Chief Health Officer, Dr Michael Ackland said that there are now 18 cases of listeria infection nationally, and a link to some batches of Jindi manufactured cheeses sold at delicatessens and supermarkets had been identified.

In November 2012, Jindi Cheese was acquired by the French-based dairy group Lactalis.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has identified the following contaminated Jindi Cheese brands including: Jindi, Jindi Reserve, Aida Valley, Blue Cow, Coles Finest, Dynasty, Emporium, Enterprize, G&K, Harris Farm, International, Kenilworth, Kingaroy, Old Telegraph Road, Raw Materials, Siena, Tomewin Farm, Tomme Farm, Top Paddock, Wattle Valley and Willow Grove.

Eight of the listeria cases are from Victoria, six from New South Wales, two from Queensland and single cases from Tasmania and Western Australia. Two – a Victorian man, 84, and a Tasmanian man, 44, died of listeria infection, and a NSW woman miscarried.

Dr Ackland said that Health Department officials visited the Jindi factory in Jindivick (south-east of Melbourne) on Wednesday, and were satisfied that appropriate food processing, hygiene and monitoring practices were being followed for the manufacture of products from January 7.

Dr Ackland said it can often be difficult to identify the sources of listeria infections, and symptoms of the illness can take up to 70 days to appear.

“The infection will cause minor or no symptoms in the vast majority of healthy people who may contract it, but is particularly dangerous for some vulnerable groups,” Dr Ackland said.

“Early symptoms of listeria include fever, headache, tiredness, aches and pains,” he added.

The Jindi Cheese company is now voluntarily recalling its cheeses from all batches it manufactured up to and including January 6, 2013

Consumers who bought identified brands in recent weeks should discard or return any to the place of purchase. Others who purchased a cut portion of camembert or brie from a supermarket or deli and are unsure of the brand should also discard it.

Fresh batches are expected to be on supermarket and deli shelves within a few days.

Jindi Cheese has been linked to listeria poisoning around Australia.