TWO people have died and a woman has miscarried after a listeria outbreak linked to soft cheeses produced in Victoria.
A recall has been widened of soft cheese manufactured by the Jindi Cheese company after 18 cases of listeria infection were linked to the products. Seven new cases of listeriosis were discovered this week, prompting Health Department officials to visit the Jindivick factory in West Gippsland on Wednesday.
Acting chief health officer Dr Michael Ackland said he was satisfied the appropriate food processing, hygiene and monitoring practices were being followed.
The company voluntarily introduced stricter product testing and quality-control measures at the factory from January 7, but is voluntarily recalling all batches of cheese manufactured up to and including January 6.
It follows a recall of brie and camembert cheeses on December 19 after the first cases were identified.
An 84-year-old Victorian man and a 44-year-old Tasmanian man have died of listeria infection and a woman from New South Wales miscarried.
Of the 18 listeriosis cases, eight were from Victoria, six from NSW, two from Queensland and one each from Tasmania and Western Australia.
Dr Ackland said it was not surprising the new cases emerged this week because listeriosis had a 70-day incubation period. He said it was possible more cases could be identified.
The factory was closed from December 19 to 30 and any new risk from production until January 6 was considered minimal.
Dr Ackland said the processes followed by the factory until January 6 were adequate.
''I am satisfied … there is no further risk to the public,'' he said.
For a list of recalled products, phone Jindi on 1800 680 175.