Listeria contamination suspected at popular Aroma cafe chain
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Listeria contamination suspected at popular Aroma cafe chain

In sixth food scare this month, popular cafe says its lychee coconut iced drinks could be contaminated

Illustrative photo: Cafe Aroma (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Illustrative photo: Cafe Aroma (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The popular Aroma coffee chain has stopped selling two lychee-coconut iced drinks after finding possible listeria, the latest in a series of food health scares in Israel this month.

The chain, among the most popular coffee shops in the country, said in a statement that it had stopped selling the drink after “a routine check found suspicion of listeria in one of the batches.” It added that it hoped to go back to marketing it after completing an inspection of the factory.

The Health Ministry said in a statement it had been informed of the possible outbreak Sunday evening and was carrying out a check of the product. It said the factory was being cleaned and disinfected.

Aroma, the well-known Israeli coffee chain that has now expanded internationally, first opened in Jerusalem, and created its own Frappuccino, the Ice Aroma (Courtesy Aroma)
Aroma, the well-known Israeli coffee chain that has now expanded internationally, opened in Jerusalem, and created its own Frappuccino, the Ice Aroma (Courtesy Aroma)

The outbreak concerns only the Aroma Israel chain and not the separate Aroma Tel Aviv chain, which has similar branding but is technically under its own management.

The Health Ministry has had its hands full with contamination scares since the Telma cereal brand said salmonella-tainted cornflakes had found their way to consumers in early August.

Last week two salmon companies announced possible listeria contamination. The Neto Group, a large Israeli food conglomerate, said a shipment of salmon was found to contain the harmful bacteria. No fish from the tainted shipment made it to its factory, the company said, adding that all shipments are tested at the port before being released to the next destination.

Asian-inspired citrus salmon (Liz Rueven/JTA)
Asian-inspired citrus salmon (Liz Rueven/JTA)

On Tuesday, the Maadaney Miki company told the public not to use its frozen salmon processed in July and August. Maadaney Miki alerted customers not to use salmon marked as made on 03/07/2016 with an expiration on 27/02/2017 or several sets of dates (05/07/2016, 01/03/2017; 07/07/2016, 03/03/2017; 14/07/2016, 10/03/2017; 02/08/2016, 29/03/2017; 04/08/2016, 31/03/2017) and to contact the company at 1-700-50-55-40.

Also this month, Salatey Shamir (Shamir Salads) said some of its tahini (sesame paste) products were contaminated with salmonella, had reached stores, and were likely eaten by consumers.

CEO Ami Guy told the Ynet news site that his company’s supplier, Prince Tahina, had notified Salatey Shamir too late to prevent a wide range of products containing the tahini from going out to the stores.

Some 200 tons of Prince Tahina’s paste were marked for destruction and the dates of suspect products were publicized by Israeli media.

Only one day after the tahini story broke, Milotal Frozen Vegetables called for the return of all its frozen french fries, after lab tests found listeria contamination in the product.

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