Beginning this December, fish producer M.V.Wool will reduce the expiration date of its cold-smoked and salted fish products from the current 30 days to 24 days. The change will affect products that do not contain any listeria growth-inhibiting preservatives, the company announced.
The company will reduce the expiration dates beginning Dec. 10. The transition period is necessary due to contracts according to which clients are to be notified of changes at least one month before they enter into effect. The company has already begun the process of notifying retail chains of the upcoming change.
"We want to get to the root of the problem and completely rule out listeria bacteria both in our production as well as in our products," M.V.Wool board chairman Meelis Vetevool said. "We're seeking solutions that are in the interests of all parties involved and will allow consumers to be confident in knowing that M.V.Wool products are natural, safe and free from listeria."
Beginning Thursday, M.V.Wool is halting production for two days at its Harku plant in order to fully sterilize its facilities, the company announced Tuesday. The goal is to exclude the presence of listeria bacteria in its production facilities and on the surfaces thereof.
"No listeria bacteria has been found on the premises or production surfaces of M.V.Wool's plant since July 1," Vetevool said Tuesday. "41 surface samples have been taken in October now, all of which were free from listeria. Despite this, we will conduct another full cleaning at our facility in order to fully exclude any occurrence of the ST1247 genotype at our company. We will be implementing additional measures in the interests of public health and in order to restore trust in our fish products."
Since this spring, M.V.Wool has been cooperating closely with the Veterinary and Food Board (VTA), and has complied with the authority's zero-tolerance requirements at its production facility. According to the company, 195 clean samples taken from its production surfaces since this July prove that the company has managed to root listeria out of its facility.
According to Health Board statistics, a total of 12 cases of listeriosis have been registered in Estonia this year. None, however, have been linked with the ST1247 strain of listeria.
Editor: Aili Vahtla