June 17, 2024

Food Safety Bloopers: Listeria and Crab Spread

Action News in Atlanta published a story about the GoldCoast crab spread that has been recalled for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The information in that article is dangerously misleading. We’ve told you about the recall, which began in early February. The product was sold at Giant’s, Martin’s, Stop & Shop, Sam’s Club, and Costco in the northeastern and southeastern United States.

Blooper banana peelThe doctor interviewed in the wsbtv.com story said, “for the normal person, you will have a day or two of diarrhea. You get sick pretty quickly with this. So that if you haven’t had any of the risks things for two weeks, there’s zero chance that you have it.”

That is completely wrong. Listeria monocytogenes can cause illness up to 70 days after exposure. The symptoms of listeriosis are fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other GI symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Compounding this bad advice, pregnant women with listeriosis usually only experience mild flulike symptoms such as fever, aches, and fatigue. But  Listeria infections in pregnant women can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and serious health problems in newborns such as meningitis and bacteremia.

Based on that incorrect story, a pregnant women who ate the dip in early February may start feeling ill in April. She may even visit her doctor. But without telling the doctor she ate the recalled crab spread, there is no way of knowing she may have listeriosis and she won’t get treatment for the illness.

Food Poisoning Bulletin contacted Action News and was told that that the news department would be told of our concerns; the story has not been changed. The reporter responsible for the story is not receiving email for a week. We had to set the record straight to try to prevent some possibly serious complications.

If you ate the recalled dip, make a note of it and monitor yourself for illness between now and mid-April. If you do get sick within that time frame, see your doctor immediately, tell her you ate the recalled crab spread, and ask for testing for listeriosis.



  1. This is one good reason why you should make your own crab dips from scratch and with the freshest crab meat you can find.

  2. Major risks to our health and lives, are the food industry and the medical establishment. Don’t trust them an inch.

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