We got a bit of a shock here at Field Roast this week when, in the process of conducting a routine shelf life study for our extra special Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute, we received a positive lab test result for Listeria Genus. There are two basic types of Listeria we are concerned about in food production; Genus (which is acceptable but often an indicator) and Monocytogenes (aka “Mono”) which is not acceptable at all. It’s always advisable when you get a positive for Listeria Genus to then test for Mono…We submitted our roast to a test for Listeria Mono and surprise! We got a positive result.
When we received confirmation of a positive result we immediately informed the Food and Drug Adminstration and implemented a voluntary recall.
IMPORTANT: This involves only batch code 11333.
The batch in question was made on November 28th. We made 215 cases of the product, all of which was shipped out and mostly consumed by Christmas of last year. Batch 11333 was only shipped to the following areas: Northern California, Oregon and Washington State.
IN YOUR HOME?: If you have Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute in your refrigerator or freezer with the batch code 11333 (only in Northern California, Oregon and Washington State) DO NOT EAT IT and please contact us for instructions and a refund.
Luckily we have not received any customer complaints (from December to now) regarding this particular batch and no customer complaints for any Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute whose description would match the symptoms relating to ingesting a food with Listeria Mono; flu like symptoms, nausea, etc.
Our Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute needs to be cooked before you eat it and if you follow the instructions on the package you will effectively kill the bacteria. Yesterday, in fact, Malcolm and I ate some of our Hazelnut Cranberry Roast from batch 11333 to no effect.
The vast majority of the product was sold to United Natural Foods (natural food distributor)…who have instituted the product recall process as per FDA guidelines. The FDA told us that once the product is sold to a distributor, it becomes their responsibility in regards to contacting individual stores so if you haven’t heard from us it’s because we were told not to contact stores ourselves and confuse things.
We informed the FDA of the situation on Monday, sent written notice to our distributor on Tuesday morning, most of the recall has occurred at this point. We are still waiting for the FDA to classify this recall – Class 1 to Class 3. Our contact there told me that it might take some time. Because our Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute needs to be cooked they have not responded as quickly as they would if our product was a “ready to eat” product that doesn’t require cooking before consumption.
Our apologies to all of you for allowing this to happen. We are proud of our food safety program here at Field Roast. Those that have had the opportunity to tour our facility are often impressed. Our last inspection by the Washington State Department of Agriculture yielded a 100% score. Our last two audits by an independent audit firm Silliker, who inspects us for Costco was 98.4 in 2012 and 98.6 in 2011. This event has been a game changer for our Quality Assurance department and we are examining our procedures to take a corrective action. As an initial corrective measure we have also hired an outside food safety expert to do a thorough review of our program.
If you have any concerns or suggestions please don’t hesitate to contact me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 206-762-5961
President and Co-Founder
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