YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Schwebel Baking Company announced Monday that it has halted production at its Youngstown bakery and has started checking for a possible product quality issue involving a strain of bacteria, according to a press release.
The company is voluntarily withdrawing any potentially affected products as a precautionary measure, according to the release.
The issue involves the discovery of listeria following a scheduled environmental check of the Youngstown bakery. Listeria is a bacteria which can cause serious infection and especially affects the elderly, newborns, pregnant mothers and those with weakened immune systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A second press release stated that Schwebel’s halted production as soon as the problem was discovered and that all products prepared for shipment were placed on hold.
Potentially-affected products were shipped to retail outlets, restaurants and institutions in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York, Michigan, West Virginia and Kentucky.
Each Schwebel’s product has a code located near the “best by” date. If that code begins with the letter “A,” it may be affected by the bacteria, according to the release. Customers with that product should discard or return them and contact 1-800-860-2867 or visit Schwebel’s web site for more information.
Only certain strains of listeria can cause serious infections, and officials are not sure what type of strain was present at the factory, according to Vince Bevacqua, a spokesman for the Schwebel Baking Company.
The CDC further states that 1,600 people in the United States get sick from the bacteria each year and that it is the third-leading cause of death from food poisoning.
The company claimed it has no knowledge of a direct impact to its products and is actively working with FDA officials to determine if any further actions are required.
A Boardman grocer confirmed that Schwebel merchandisers removed all Schwebel products from the store’s shelves Tuesday, calling the action a voluntary recall.
No other Schwebel bakeries are impacted by the suspension, according to the release.
Ohio Department of Agriculture Spokesperson Ashley McDonald said that the Food Drug Administration notified her department after routine environmental swabbing at the factory turned up positive results for listeria.
There is no indication yet that food was affected, and the FDA, the primary investigator in the case, was going to go to the plant Tuesday afternoon, McDonald wrote in an email.
The FDA has not yet ordered a recall of any Schwebel’s products.
A list of Schwebel’s outlet stores can be found here.
The CDC has a list of symptoms that can be caused by listeria on its website. According to the site, listeriosis may cause flu-like symptoms in pregnant women, such as:
- Muscle aches
- Upset stomach
If the infection spreads to the nervous system, the symptoms may include:
- Stiff neck
- Loss of balance
Anyone with these symptoms should consult a doctor, according to the site. A blood test can be performed to find out if listeria has caused a given set of symptoms.