Leroy’s food safety crisis: CEO forced to address listeria stories

by
Editorial Staff

Concerns about food safety at a Leroy site have prompted the company’s CEO to post a response online.

Leroy Seafood CEO Henning Beltestad has responded to reports of over 700 cases of listeria detected at the Leroy Midt processing facility in Norway between August 2022 and November 2023.

Listeria was discovered in multiple instances at the Leroy Midt site, according to Norwegian broadcaster NRK. The revelation followed a 2023 warning from Swedish health authorities, identifying Leroy Midt as the source of a significant listeria outbreak responsible for multiple fatalities.

In response to these developments, Leroy Seafood has issued a statement on its website, emphasizing its adherence to rigorous food safety standards, which are monitored by independent third parties.

CEO Henning Beltestad wrote “Food safety is Lerøy’s top priority, and we have several measures in place to prevent Listeria in our raw materials and finished products. Our employees make a tremendous effort through systematic improvement work to maintain our high standards of food safety.”

Beltestad further commented on the company’s efforts to minimize Listeria occurrence, highlighting their integrated value chain for salmon production, which aims to ensure the safety of their products.

Beltestad acknowledged that Listeria is naturally present in the environment and highlighted the importance of their efforts to minimize its presence in products.

“Lerøy has a detailed system for daily cleaning and disinfection of production facilities and non-conformance handling,” wrote Beltestad. “We have also collaborated with our equipment supplier to make equipment easier to clean, thus reducing the risk of Listeria occurrence. This is work that has resulted in new and improved machine designs that are now also available to other companies.”

Beltestad also emphasized Leroy’s full traceability of all products, enabling prompt recalls if necessary. Despite the recent concerns, he noted that in the entirety of 2023, the company only had three recalls of small product batches, indicating the effectiveness of their control measures and the company’s commitment to producing safe food.

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