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Meat wholesaler working to identify source of listeria

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Bay Cuisine, the Hawke's Bay based manufacturer and wholesaler of a range of meat products, is working with the Ministry for Primary Industries to identify the source of a listeria contamination found by the DHB in samples of ready to eat meat products.

Bay Cuisine's joint managing director, Simon Wills, says the DHB's announcement is of significant concern to the company, because it supplies ready to eat meat products to the DHB.

"While we understand that the source of contamination at the DHB is yet to be determined, we are working with the Ministry for Primary Industries. We also have employed an independent food safety expert to review our own practices and procedures," Mr Wills said.

This Monday, the company initiated a voluntary product recall for those ready to eat meat products sold directly to the public.

The products are sold in Mad Butcher stores throughout New Zealand and the ham products only are also sold in Preston stores in Wellington, Porirua and Palmerston North.

The products are:

- Mad Butcher 500g salami and pepperoni rolls with 'best before' dates of up to and including 17 August 2012.

- Ratanui whole, half and champagne cooked on the bone hams with 'best before' dates of up to and including 12 September 2012.

- Plain packed EZY Carve boneless leg ham pieces, and whole with 'best before' dates of up to and including 9 September 2012.

The recall was a "precautionary measure" because none of the products supplied to the Mad Butcher or Prestons have shown any evidence of any contamination.

Mr Wills said the ready to eat meat product recall was underway with products being collected and returned to the company's Napier premises where batch numbers are recorded and product retained.

Mr Wills said the situation at the DHB was very concerning for the company and its staff, all of whom prided themselves on producing quality and safe products for commercial and retail customers.

"Ready to eat meat products are only a small proportion of our overall product range. We want to assure the public that our other products continue to be safe."

He said the company would not be making any further public statements until the outcomes of the reviews were known.

"Right now, in the interests of public health and safety we are focusing on working with the Ministry and managing our voluntary ready to eat meat product recall.

"While we understand the DHB has an independent review underway, we are ready to contribute to that process should it be required and appropriate," Mr Wills said.

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