“Hausmacher” liver pâté has been recalled last week in Canada as it may permit the growth of Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum, a sporular bacterium, reproduces in canned goods which may have not been properly preserved using the process or due to pack failure, in ambient low acid foods. As a soil based bacterium, C. botulinum often colonises the gastro-intestinal tract of animals or fish through contaminated sediments. The bacterium produces neurotoxins in anaerobic conditions, which even in small quantities are exceptionally dangerous to human health. This particular recall concerns products sold in unlabelled white jars at various markets in Canada in the run up to Christmas 2013. No illness has so far been reported to the Canadian authorities to date in connection with this product.
One effective method of ensuring the complete eradication of C. botulinum is efficient sterilization of low-acid products using autoclaves. Although the spores are heat-resistant, heating to >121˚c for the recommended period of time to achieve a 12 Log reduction has been shown to destroy the bacterium and its toxins, which are heat-labile. Lagarde’s autoclaves provide the major advantages of guaranteeing temperature homogeneity through treated batches of product, with very accurate programs that can be reproduced perfectly from one batch to the next. Preserving the organoleptic qualities and particulates of products, these retorts ensure container integrity throughout the process. As the process cools treated product using sterile recycled water, any risk of re-contamination is removed. Treating the product in batches in their final containers means that the product is stabilized after undergoing the process, and can be immediately dried and packed without further exposure to external contaminants.
Lagarde’s autoclaves offer the options of treating product in static, rotating or “rocking” (oscillating) vessels so that many diverse applications of the autoclave process are possible, in food processing, textiles, pharmaceuticals and industry. Having a worldwide presence in all continents and agents or personnel in more than 60 countries, they are able to respond quickly to provide advice and assistance. Lagarde also provide pilot units for customers where they can develop their products, or for selection and validation of new processes.