Bluewater Health responds to food recall; apologizes to patients

Bluewater Health has issued an apology after 195 patients were served grilled cheese sandwiches that may have been contaminated with Listeria bacteria.

The sandwiches were served as part of the in-hospital meal selection on Nov. 30.

On Dec. 3, the hospital was notified by its food distributor of a voluntary recall of cheese slices which were supplied to it and used in grilled cheese sandwiches.

“While there is a higher risk of illness when uncooked, contaminated foods are consumed, the grilled cheese sandwiches were heated to the recommended cooking temperature which is (at or above) the temperature considered sufficient to kil the Listeria organism,” said Helen Shaw, infection control coordinator, Bluewater Health.

For that reason, the risk to patients is extremely low, Shaw added.

None of the sandwiches was sold in vending machines or in the food court at Bluewater Health.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of the sandwiches, but Bluewater Health spokespersons say those with concerns, should call their family doctor, visit a walk-in clinic or go to the nearest emergency department.

Anyone who has suffered adverse effects should notify Bluewater Health at 519-464-4400, Ext. 8364.

Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk.

Symptoms can occur up to 70 days after consumption.

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