Publix recalls some cakes and bakery items due to Listeria scare

By on November 19th, 2012

Publix recalled 45 varieties of cake products from several North and Central Florida counties Friday. The products, distributed to Florida stores from Nov. 11 to 15, may be contaminated with Listeria bacteria.

There have been no reports of illnesses related to the baked goods. In a company press release, Publix said it was informed of the contamination by its supplier, Maplehurst, and issued the recall as a precaution. Consumers who return the products will be given a full refund.

The Florida counties affected by the recall are: Brevard, Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, Flagler, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia.

Listeria is found in food and can cause various foodborne illnesses, said Keith Schneider, an associate professor in the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. The bacteria is not stable when heated and is not usually found in cooked products.

“If you have a cooked product, it is extremely rare that any of these bacteria will survive,” Schneider said. “Unless it’s been contaminated after cooking, it’s usually not problematic at all.”

About 1,600 people become seriously ill because of Listeria each year and 260 people die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pregnant women, newborn babies, cancer patients and older adults are among those considered to be at high-risk to become ill.

The Publix spokesperson authorized to speak on this matter for North and Central Florida was not in the office and unavailable to comment. For a full list of the recalled products, click here.

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