Listeria: Check Your Freezers Now

 

A new outbreak of Listeria has sickened nearly a dozen people and The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes the deadly bacteria is likely lurking in frozen vegetables and fruits.

The initial recall of 15 frozen vegetable items on April 23, 2016 has now been expanded and includes more than 350 organic and non-organic products sold under 42 brands at grocers that include Safeway, Costco and Trader Joe’s in the U.S. and Canada.

The expanded recall includes all of the frozen fruit and vegetable products manufactured or processed in CRF Frozen Foods’ Pasco, Washington, facility since May 1, 2014.

Products include organic and non-organic broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, corn, edamame, green beans, Italian beans, kale, leeks, lima beans, onions, peas, pepper strips, potatoes, potato medley, root medley, spinach, sweet potatoes, various vegetable medleys, blends and stir fry packages, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, peaches, raspberries and strawberries.

Check the FDA’s website for a complete list of the affected products and their UPC codes,

What You Need To Know About Listeria

Annually, about 76 million people in the United States become ill from the food they eat, and about 5,000 of them die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Listeria is the most lethal of foodborne pathogens, killing 1 in 5 of its victims. Older adults, pregnant women (Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths), newborns and people with compromised immune systems are at much higher risk of getting very sick from Listeria. Healthy individuals may experiencer short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Symptoms of Listeria infection usually start within a few days but can develop up to two months after eating contaminated food. If you did eat any of the items on the FDA list and have symptoms such as fever, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and/or convulsions, seek medical care.

Dealing with dangerous food items

Check the food in your freezer to see if any items match the UPC codes and “best by” dates on the FDA’s list. If you find any matches, you can return the food to the store for a refund or discard it.

When discarding potential infected, or spoiled, food it is best to place it in a well-sealed container to protect animals who might eat it. You may wish to place a note on the container advising people who may come across the discarded food that it is not good to eat.

 

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