October 24, 2016

Unannounced Green Bean Recall for Listeria Monocytogenes

The FDA Enforcement Report, which is issued weekly, can be very revealing. This week’s report contains several recalls that were not issued through the FDA’s usual channels, and some have serious implications.

Green Beans from iStockWhile we told you about a recall of Cascadian Farms green beans earlier this fall for Listeria monocytogenes, the names mentioned in this Enforcement Report recall are new. We do not know why the FDA did not announce this as part of their recall system.

The recalled items are Italian Green beans. The product is frozen, not ready to eat, and is sold under the brand names Birds Eye (C&W), Markson First Crop, Bountiful Harvest, River Valley, Simplot Classic, Sysco Classic, Sysco Imperial, National, Monarch, Valmont, Worlds Finest, and Tasteful. The package sizes of the recalled products range from 14 ounce, 16 ounce, and 2 pounds, which were most likely sold at the consumer level, to 2.5 pounds, 20 pounds, and a tote of 1,350 pounds, which were most likely sold to food service facilities. You can see the huge list of lot numbers and expiration dates of the recalled products at the FDA web site. The producer was National Frozen Foods Corporation in Seattle.

Expiration dates for these recalled products range from 2016 through 2017. It’s possible that consumers have these products in their homes. If you do, discard it in a double bagged or sealed container, or return the product to the place of purchase for a refund.

Then you need to clean out your freezer or refrigerator with a mild bleach solution to kill any remaining bacteria. Listeria monocytogenes bacteria can grow at refrigerator temperatures.

While the product does need to be cooked before eating, and proper cooking temperatures kill Listeria bacteria, there’s always the possibility that some bacteria can survive the cooking or heating process. Or a person could touch the frozen green beans before they are cooked and cross-contaminate other foods or utensils, or touch their mouth.

If you ate any of these recalled products, monitor yourself for the symptoms of listeriosis, the illness caused by this bacteria, for the next 70 days. Those symptoms include fever, muscle aches, upset stomach, diarrhea, stiff neck, headache, loss of balance, confusion, or convulsions. Pregnant women may only have a mild illness, but listeriosis can cause stillbirth, miscarriage, or a serious infection in the newborn baby.

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