MASSIVE RECALL: Packaged vegetables from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s may contain Listeria

Thursday, November 9, 2017
By Paul Martin

by: Jhoanna Robinson
Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Salinas, California-based Mann Packing Co., Inc. has issued a voluntarily recall of its packaged vegetables that are distributed all over the United States and Canada over fears that the products are contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The vegetables are sold at grocery stores such as Albertsons, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and 10 California-based Whole Foods stores. The recall was issued during the second week of October after random product testing revealed a single positive result for listeria.

The recall might not do a lot of good, however, as some of the products which were marked “best if used” between October 11 and October 20 may have already been purchased and eaten by consumers.

Target recalled 14 prepackaged grocery products while Trader Joe’s issued a recall for its $2.50 Kohlrabi salad blend, and will be refunding customers who will return the salad mix. Whole Foods also recalled salads, including Sesame Chicken Power Salad, Mexican Chicken Powder Salad, and Mann’s Veggie Power Blend, from 10 of its California stores.

Among the contents of the packaged products are meat, cheese, and hummus products, and packaged broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.

Officials said they have yet to receive reports of listeria infection; however, they reported that all of the products that they have inspected were already past their expiration dates.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are around 1,600 listeria cases reported each year, with 260 of them becoming fatal, especially to the very young, the very old, the frail, and those with weakened immune systems.

Listeria monocytogenes thrives in warm temperatures; however, it is one of the few bacteria that can live at refrigerator temperatures and is known to commonly infiltrate pre-packaged foods. In the 1990s, a swarm of listeria infested hot dogs and deli meats all over the U.S. (Related: Listeria Linked to Contaminated Deli Meat Slicers, Says New Report.)

Listeria infections can cause headache, balance issues, convulsions, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and stiff neck. These side effects, however, are not felt until after one week to 70 days after consuming the infected food.

Pregnant women should be extra careful about not getting listeria contamination, as it can cause premature births, miscarriages, or stillbirths. In pregnant women, listeria infection can manifest as flu.

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