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Bacteria at Schwebel’s posed no health risk

Published: Thu, July 24, 2014 @ 12:10 a.m.

Staff report


The bacteria found at Schwebel Baking Co. on Tuesday has been confirmed not to be the type of listeria that poses a risk to public health, an independent, certified lab confirmed.

“Full production at the Youngstown facility is expected to resume within 24 hours,” Paul Schwebel, company president, said Wednesday.

“We remain focused on consumer safety. That goal guides our current efforts to get our Youngstown bakery back online and will allow us to produce our full range of products for our loyal customers.”

Production at the bakery was halted Tuesday after an internal routine

environmental sampling conducted by the company found an undetermined species of listeria in the Midlothian Boulevard facility.

Listeria is a naturally occurring bacteria

that can be found any place where there is an accumulation of moisture. Some forms can cause infections in young children, the elderly and others with weakened immune systems. Other forms are benign.

Schwebel’s reported those findings to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and immediately initiated a voluntary withdrawal of all products shipped from the bakery. Test results found the listeria at the bakery poses no health threat to workers or consumers.

“We appreciate the loyalty of our customers and regret the inconvenience this product withdrawal has caused,” Schwebel said. “We have always and will always keep the general safety of our consumers at the forefront of our family business.”

Schwebel’s, founded in 1906, operates four bakeries in Ohio. The Youngstown bakery was the only one affected by the event.

The bakery withdrew products, affecting products delivered to retail outlets, restaurants and institutions in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York, Michigan, West Virginia and Kentucky.

Consumers were told to identify the products affected by the code located near the bottom of the best-buy date.

“If the code begins with the letter ‘A,’ the product is a part of the voluntary withdrawal,” a company release issued Tuesday said. “Anyone who has products in their possession that are part of the voluntary withdrawal should not consume them and should discard them or return them to where they were purchased.”

Although there is no public-health risk, the company remains consistent with its previous announcement for consumers to return the withdrawn product.

Giant Eagle also released a statement on the voluntary withdrawal of products from its shelves:

“As directed by Schwebel, representatives from the manufacturer have removed all potentially affected Schwebel brand products from Giant Eagle Inc. store shelves across all of our markets. As an added measure of caution, Giant Eagle is removing those varieties of Giant Eagle brand bread that were produced from the Schwebel Youngstown facility from its store shelves.”

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