Lox goods are recalled by Noahs

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Noah's Bagels this week announced a recall of lox trim, as well as Noah's Lox Shmear and Noah's Light Lox Shmear, both of which contain the trim.

Lab tests of the lox, which is provided by Acme Smoked Fish Corp. in Brooklyn, have uncovered low levels of listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that can cause a rare but potentially serious illness called listeriosis.

Healthy people are at little risk for listeriosis, according to Mary York, a microbiologist at UCSF Medical Center. Most vulnerable are pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems — infants, the elderly, and the chronically ill — whose blood could be infected by the microbe.

"The organism is ubiquitous; if you cultured your refrigerator you'd probably find it," York said. "The problem is when it's in the food and you ingest it and you're immuno-compromised in some way. You could get very sick."

Noah's says customers who ate the products between July 2 and Aug. 5 may have been exposed to the bacteria and are encouraged to contact their doctor with questions. Symptoms include a high fever and disorientation, according to York.

Although it was not aware of reports of illness, Noah's recalled the products after routine independent lab tests on an unopened package of Acme lox trim found low levels of the bacteria.

As an added precaution, Noah's is recalling all whole lox supplied by Acme, a national supplier of smoked fish products. Noah's Norwegian Lox and Oregon Lox are supplied by other fish companies and are not part of the recall. Lox supplied by companies other than Acme can currently be found on Noah's shelves.

The recall affects customers in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Portland and Seattle metropolitan areas. Noah's encourages customers who have the recalled products to return them for a full refund.

Noah's 59 bagel stores are owned and operated by two franchises, Noah's Pacific LLC and Noah's Bay Area Bagels LLC. Noah's also distributes Noah's Lox Shmear and Noah's Light Lox Shmear to approximately 20 grocery stores in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The lox recall came a week after Noah's went public in an initial offering of 19 per share on the NASDAQ stock exchange. With shares for Einstein Noah Bagel Corp. closing at 241/8 at Bulletin press time Wednesday, it remained unclear how the recall would color prices.

Leslie Katz
Leslie Katz

Leslie Katz is the former culture editor at CNET and a former J. staff writer. Follow her on Twitter @lesatnews.