New listeria found at M.V.Wool fish factory

The M.V.Wool trout gravlax which was been recalled.
The M.V.Wool trout gravlax which was been recalled. Source: Merilin Pärli/ERR

More listeria bacteria has been found in samples taken from M.V. Wool fish factory the Veterinary and Food Administration (VTA) said and it has not been ruled out that the plant may have to close.

Deputy Director of the VTA Olev Kalda told ERR listeria has been detected again in samples taken from the MV Wool factory.

"As this is a very serious violation of a fundamental right, that is, a restriction on business, so our steps need to be considered. But those steps will certainly come and the company and the public will know," Kalda said.

Kalda says it is the responsibility of both the VTA and the fish processor to put in place measures to ensure the safety of the food sold to consumers.

"Until our decision is made, the company will remain subject to the "zero tolerance" rules [of listeria], meaning that the company will have to control all batches it issues so that there is no listeria," said Kalda.

The company stopped production for two days in mid-October to disinfect its premises and productions lines. However, the new bacteria samples has been found after the plant was disinfected.

"In addition to the measures the company took, that is, cleaning and disinfection, we conducted our own checks, took samples, and we found listeria," said Kalda. "The disinfectant has not been effective enough."

So far, all M.V.Wool factory listings have been strain ST1247, but it is not yet known what strain of listeria were in the new positive samples.

M.V.Wool has sampled their own production in parallel with the VTA, but has not found a listeria in the same batches. At the same time, Kalda confirms that the company does not deny positive list samples.

"The company does not deny that it has listeria. But we have had divergent views on what measures should be taken to avoid the threat," Kalda said.

Kalda confirms that despite the failure of disinfection, it is still possible to get rid of the listeria bacterium in the production center.

"It has been cleared up. There are examples from other countries where there have been problems with the listeria, but it has to be dealt with very thoroughly, consistently and definitely in cooperation with the supervisory authority," said Kalda.

ETV's Pealtnägija revealed in September that several people have died in Estonia as a result of infection from listeria bacterium, and the bacterial strain found at the M.V.Wool fish processing plant. The same bacterial strain has not been detected in any other company.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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