YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- The Schwebel Baking Co. issued a statement shortly after 2 p.m. today announcing that "it has halted production at its Youngstown bakery and has initiated an assessment of a possible product quality issue. As a precautionary measure, the company is voluntarily withdrawing any potentially affected products," the statement said.
"The issue involves the discovery of listeria following a scheduled environmental assessment of the Youngstown bakery."
Schwebels said it has "no knowledge of a direct impact to its products and is actively working with FDA officials to determine if any further actions are required."
A few hours after the initial statement, Schwebel's said it has "voluntarily withdrawn certain products from the marketplace."
"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, the company’s president.
According to the federal government's website FoodSafety.gov, "Listeria is the name of a bacteria found in soil and water and some animals, including poultry and cattle. It can be present in raw milk and foods made from raw milk. It can also live in food processing plants and contaminate a variety of processed meats."
Schwebel said the possible problem was discovered during routine environmental testing at its Youngstown bakery. As a result, he said, the company immediately halted production at that bakery and alerted the Food and Drug Administration of the potential problem. The company also placed all product prepared for shipment on hold.
The products were shipped directly to retail outlets, restaurants and institutions in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York, Michigan, West Virginia and Kentucky, the company said. Consumers can identify the products by the code located near the “best by” date. If the code begins with the letter “A,” the product is part of the voluntary withdrawal. 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.
The company said it would update the situation in a statement to be released sometime Wednesday.
Schwebel said if consumers have any questions concerning the potentially impacted products they can contact the company directly at 1 800 860 2867. Consumers may also visit Schwebel’s web site more information.
In addition to its flagship Youngstown plant, Schwebel's operates bakeries in Cuyahoga Falls, Solon and Hebron.
The company dates its orgins to 1906 when Dora and Jospeh Schwebel began selling bread made in their Campbell home. Today its best-selling project is Schwebel's Giant White enriched bread. Its products are sold in grocery and convenience stores throughout Ohio, western Pennsylvania, western New York, and northern West Virginia.
SOURCE: Schwebel Banking Co.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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