Six companies across the United States, including Whole Foods Market, Meijer and Albertsons, have issued dozens of food recalls since Friday, due to potential listeria contamination reported by one of the largest suppliers of fresh vegetables in the country.
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that causes weakened immune systems or fatal infections in young children and frail adults, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
At issue are the many products that contain vegetables sourced from Mann Packing of Salinas, Calif.
Among the biggest retail recalls, stemming from Mann Packing’s, is Meijer’s. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based chain announced on Saturday that it is recalling 39 fresh vegetable products, such as vegetable trays, broccoli florets, asparagus spears and shareable autumn harvest salad.
The food was sold in stores in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin and purchased Sept. 27 through Oct. 20.
Concerned customers may call Meijer at 800-543-3704.
Mann Packing recalled nearly 100 products sold at retailers ranging from Walmart to Trader Joe’s throughout the United States and Canada. The packages had expiration dates from Oct. 11 to Oct. 20.
The Mann Packaging recall also prompted the following:
Whole Foods is recalling salads from 10 northern California stores, such as Veggie Power Blend, Sesame Chicken Power Salad and Mexican Chicken Power Salad. All were sold by the pound at salad bars between Sept. 28 and Oct. 20.
Consumers may call 844-936-8255 Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-10 p.m. CST or Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Randalls, Tom Thumb and Albertsons stores in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas are recalling Ready. Chef. Go! seafood meal bags. At issue are those with sell-by dates through Oct. 22 that are packaged in clear cooking bags and are sold from refrigerated cases, including numerous fish fillet and shrimp kits.
Customers with questions may phone Albertsons Companies at 877-723-3929.
Albertsons, Safeway, Vons and Pak N’ Save stores in California, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming are recalling certain fresh vegetable trays and cups. The items have sell-by dates through Oct. 24 and are packaged in clear plastic trays and cups of various sizes.
Seattle-based Triple B Corp. is recalling salad kits and stir fry mixes, sold in store delis and used in hospitals, schools and hotels in Oregon and Washington.
Consumers who have concerns may contact Triple Bat 206-577-9852 Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. PST.
Triple-B is recalling broccoli florets, stir fry kits, veggie trays with cauliflower and veggie pack combos that were sold in store delis in Alaska.
Consumers who have purchased any of the recalled products are urged to discard them or return them for a refund.
Customers may also contact Mann Packing at 888-470-2681.
According to the FDA’s announcement Thursday, Mann Packing issued the recall because of a “single positive result” found in a product during random sampling in Canada.
“As an owner of this company and a mom, providing safe and healthy foods to our consumers and their families is always our top priority,” Gina Nucci, director of corporate marketing for Mann’s Packing, said in a written statement Thursday.
“This voluntary recall is a reflection of our commitment to ensuring the safety of our consumers.”
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What is Listeria
With all the foodborne illness outbreaks in the news, it’s best to know your food safety. Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
The bacteria may be found in soil, water and some animals like cattle and poultry.
The CDC estimates that approximately 1600 illnesses and 260 deaths due to listeriosis occur annually in the United States.
Signs and Symptoms of Listeria
According to WebMD, Listeriosis is food poisoning caused by eating foods contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) bacterium.
In pregnant women, the infection can result in miscarriage, premature delivery, serious infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth.
Listeriosis affects mainly pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and adults with impaired immune systems.
Healthy adults and children sometimes are infected with L. monocytogenes, but they rarely become seriously ill. Babies can be born with listeriosis if their mothers eat contaminated food during pregnancy.
What causes listeriosis?
L. monocytogenes is found in soil and water.
Vegetables can become contaminated from the soil or from manure used as fertilizer.
Animals can carry the bacteria and can contaminate meats and dairy products.
Processed foods, such as soft cheeses and cold cuts, can be contaminated after processing.
Unpasteurized (raw) milk or foods made from unpasteurized milk can be contaminated.
Symptoms of Listeria
The symptoms of listeriosis include:
- muscle aches
- sometimes nausea or diarrhea
If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms the may also include:
- stiff neck
- loss of balance
- convulsionsBut infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness.
How is listeriosis diagnosed?
Listeriosis is diagnosed based on a medical history and physical exam. Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms, foods you have recently eaten, and your work and home environments. A blood test or spinal fluid test may be done to confirm the diagnosis.
Contributing: Thomas Novelly, (Louisville) Courier-Journal, and Rose White, WZZM-TV, Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich.
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