Brand ‘Signature Ornaments’ Found to Contain Aspergillus Mold

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Preparing for the holidays can be an exciting time to share with loved ones.

Gathering up old holiday decorations and adding new ones to the collection has been a long standing tradition in many families.

This year however, there are a few precautions we urge people to take when purchasing ornaments and other decorations for mold contamination. The most recent recall of Signature Collection ornaments, picture frames and 43 centimeter red trees were found to contain Aspergillus mold.

Some Aspergillus mold can cause serious disease in humans and animals. Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus clavatus are the most common to cause either pathogenic or allergenic reactions or both. Pulmonary aspergillosis can also result with symptoms that can range from fever, cough, chest pain or breathlessness. The most at risk group to contract aspergillosis after exposure to Aspergillus mold are those with weakened immune systems or lung disease.

Consumers have been recommended to immediately stop using these products, enclose them in a plastic bag, and return them to the nearest Papyrus or Carlton Cards store, or Schurman Retail Group’s Tennessee Distribution Center for a refund. Fortunately, at present the Schurman Retain Group, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (US CPSC) and Health Canada have not received any reports of incidents related to these products.

The recalled products were sold at Papyrus and Carlton stores across Canada and the United States from September 29, 2012 to November 21, 2012; 5,807 items in Canada and 10,450 items in the United States. Manufacturing of the recalled products was done in Pasig City, Philippines by Idianale Inc/Dekokraft. Distribution was through the Schurman Retain Group in Fairfield, California. Quality control during manufacturing, packaging and transportation may need to be assessed to determine where the contamination arose.

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All laboratory staff at MBL are trained in identifying Aspergillus spp. If you have any concerns that products you have may contain mold, you can send in a sample of it to our lab to gain some peace of mind (either cut a piece of it, take a swab or a tape-lift). We wish you a safe and joyous holiday season. For information about our mold testing or bacteria testing services, please contact Mold & Bacteria Consulting Laboratories. Please call our Ontario, Mississauga Office at 905-290-9101 or the British Columbia, Burnaby Office at 604-435-6555.

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