Greenyard settles with regulator over 2018 listeria outbreak

Greenyard settles with regulator over late communication during 2018 listeria outbreak

Belgium-based multinational Greenyard has settled with a regulator for €500,000 ($600,000) over late communication of information related to the listeria outbreak in mid-2018 which led to the death of several people.

The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) said that Greenyard had in July 2018 disclosed misleading information regarding the listeria contamination at its frozen vegetable factory in Hungary.

According to a Dec. 1 statement by the FSMA, the company was in possession of key information on July 3 but did not publish it until July 13, thereby failing to comply with regulations.

The FSMA alleged that Greenyard had done this in a bid to improve its share price and manipulate the market.

Greenyard said it had preferred to settle without acknowledgment of guilt with the FSMA and has agreed to a settlement.

This allows Greenyard to "close this chapter definitively", it said.

In July 2018, Greenyard reported on a recall of frozen products produced in its facility in Baja (Hungary) between August 13, 2016 and June 20, 2018.

The recall was initiated as a result of a decision taken by the Hungarian food safety authority following a specific type of listeria monocytogenes found on products manufactured and marketed by its Hungarian factory. 

The outbreak led to 47 people becoming infected with listeria as well as nine deaths.