Listeria scare: roast beef off the menu at Aldi

Aldi has decided to remove all roast beef from its shelves.  The decision comes after three deaths in the Netherlands caused by a listeria poisoning.  The meat was sourced from a subsidiary of Belgium’s Ter Beke.

Aldi is withdrawing roast beef sold under the Délifin brand in 100 gram packs produced by Offerman of Aalsmeer (NL). Aldi says: “We haven’t registered any problems with our roast beef or received any complaints, but this is preventative action.”

The three deaths and a miscarriage in the Netherlands were linked to the meat thanks to a new tracing procedure.  Leuven University’s Jan Van Impe: “Listeria contamination could be identified before, but now there is better tracing using databanks and we can identify the source more readily.”

When the meat was produced samples were taken and deposited in a databank.  A match to the three deaths was then found.

Some 65 Belgians come down with a poisoning caused by listeria each year with a fifth dying as a result.  Far more people are contaminated, but don’t notice any serious problems. In most cases the immune system counters the bacteria.

The Belgian food safety agency is now seeking more information from the Dutch authorities.  Last year the agency tested 9,155 samples for listeria contamination.  99.2% of samples were OKed.