On April 16, 2010, the European Union's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) posted Food Alert Notification #2010.0478, advising that a food processor in France had initiated a consumer-level recall after the company's own testing had detected Listeria monocytogenes in the product.
On April 19th, the RASFF notice was updated to chance the reason for the recall from "Listeria monocytogenes" to "incorrect pasteurization process."
The recalled sausages were distributed in the following regions:
- Africa: Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Mauritius, Mayotte, Senegal
- Middle East: United Arab Emirates
- Europe: France, Switzerland, United Kingdom
- Asia: Hong Kong
- South America: Guyana
- Polynesia: French Polynesia, New Caledonia
RASFF notices never identify the manufacturer, the importer or the distributor of a recalled product. Nor do they identify specific production lots or expiration date codes of recalled items.
Fortunately for consumers worldwide, Hong Kong has brought this safety recall out of the closet, by issuing the following notice:
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) today (April 21) advised the public not to eat certain batches of Jean Caby pre-packaged cocktail sausages which are suspected to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
EU authorities said that the manufacturer was recalling the product. Details are as follows:
- Brand name: Jean Caby
- Product name: Saucisse Cocktail Nature (300g)
- Expiry date: Shelf-life before July 30, 2010
- Country of origin: France
The Jean Caby brand is owned by the multinational CampoFrio Food Group. There is no mention of this recall on the CampoFrio web site, and no mention of this recall on any of the French government web sites or French consumer recall sites.
It is inexcusable that consumers in France must rely on the Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety in order to learn the details of a safety recall issued by a French food processor. It's equally incomprehensible that RASFF does not provide any product identification details in its food alert notifications.
Consumers everywhere have the right – and the need – to know the details of food safety recalls.
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