Meals on Wheels providers respond to listeria concerns

    TORONTO, Sept. 14 /CNW/ - Food manufacturer apetito, a supplier of frozen
meals to many organizations delivering Meals on Wheels, has voluntarily
recalled one of their Private Recipe brand frozen meals due to concerns the
product may be contaminated with Listeria Monocytogenes. There have been no
reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product. Meals on
Wheels providers in Ontario have been quick to respond, contacting their
clients about the recall.
    "The food item in question was distributed to agencies in June and early
July. Based on information provided from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
(CFIA) and apetito, the risk to clients is very low. After reviewing their
records, apetito will be advising agencies whether they received products from
this batch. They will also be providing agencies with a list of clients who
received the products from this particular batch and informing them of actions
they should take," said Susan Thorning, CEO of the Ontario Community Support
Association (OCSA), the provincial association representing Meals on Wheels
providers in Ontario.
    The recall was triggered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
when their testing program identified low levels of the Listeria bacteria in
one batch of frozen meals produced on June 6, 2008. The CFIA is monitoring the
effectiveness of the recall.
    The affected product, Private Recipe brand Creamed Salmon with Mashed
Potatoes & Glazed Carrots is a 370 g frozen meal bearing item number 12012 and
a Best Before Date of 2009 JN 06. It was distributed frozen by "Meals on
Wheels" and similar charitable agencies in British Columbia, Ontario, and New
    The affected meals are stored frozen (bacteria does not grow in frozen
food) and meals are heated prior to eating (bacteria is killed if internal
temperature of meal reaches 72c or 165F).
    Most cases of food borne illness can be prevented by using safe food
handling practices. To make your risk of contamination even lower:
    -  Keep food out of the temperature danger zone (between 4c and 60c or
       40F and 140F)
    -  Keep the refrigerator at 4c (40F) or colder
    -  Refrigerate food promptly
    -  Thoroughly cook or boil food to an internal temperature of 74C or

    If clients believe a product presents a health and safety risk or to
    report a potential food safety incident contact the CFIA by telephone at

    For more information consumers and industry can call the CFIA at
    1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time,
    Monday to Friday) or visit

    For information on Listeria monocytogenes, visit the Food Facts web page

    Meals on Wheels is a community support that delivers nutritious meals to
homebound individuals. Volunteers deliver the meals and also provide social
contact and early monitoring of potential crisis situations. Approximately
150 community support agencies offer this service in Ontario and approximately
2.5 million meals are delivered each year to over 40,000 people.
    Many Meals on Wheels providers offer a choice of two convenient options:
a ready-to-eat hot meal delivered to a client's door at lunchtime each day up
to seven days a week, or a package of frozen meals that can be reheated as
needed. Meals are specially created to be well balanced, tasty and nutritious,
with a changing menu every day. Therapeutic meals for special diets are
available, including diabetic, renal, gluten-free and lactose-free meals.
Clients who have difficulty chewing or swallowing may request their meals
minced or pureed, or they may choose from an assortment of thickened juices.
Special ethnic meals are also available, depending on the area.
    To contact a Meals on Wheels provider in your area call 1-800-267-OCSA or
use our care finder at

For further information:

For further information: Lori Payne, Manager, Communications, Ontario
Community Support Association (OCSA), 104-970 Lawrence Ave. W, Toronto, ON M6A
3B6,, (416) 459-9224, (416) 256-3010 x242, website:

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