YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO – A voluntary market recall of certain products baked at the Youngstown plant of Schwebel Baking Co. was announced July 22. The recall was prompted by the discovery of Listeria during a planned, internal environmental audit of the plant.

“Although there is no evidence at this point that any of our consumers or products have been impacted, we are taking this action as a precautionary measure to assure that our products are safe,” said Paul Schwebel, president of the company.

Mr. Schwebel said the company alerted the Food and Drug Administration of the potential problem immediately after the discovery and placed all product prepared for shipment on hold. None of Schwebel’s other baking plants are impacted.

Listeria is a genus of bacteria that includes 10 different strains. A spokesperson for the company denied a published report definitively identifying the strain found at Youngstown as Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria monocytogenes is the strain associated with listeriosis, a potentially lethal foodborne infection.

“We haven’t identified the strain yet,” said Vince Bevacqua of Schwebel.

According to the company, products from the plant are shipped to retail, food service and institutional customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York, Michigan, West Virginia and Kentucky. Consumers may identify the products by a code located near the best by date. If the code begins with the letter A, the product is part of the voluntary withdrawal.  The company said products that are part of the voluntary withdrawal should not be consumed but should be discarded or returned to where they were purchased.

Mr. Bevacqua said no evidence of Listeria has been found in finished product. While unable to estimate when production and shipments will resume from Youngstown, Mr. Bevacqua said he did not believe the interruption would be lengthy.

In addition to its Youngstown plant, Schwebel operates baking plants in Hebron and Solon, Ohio.