CRF Frozen Foods of Pasco, Washington is expanding its April 23, 2016 recall of frozen organic and traditional fruits and vegetables for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. There is an outbreak linked to these products, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC has not posted any information about this outbreak yet. We will keep you informed when they do.
At least seven people in three states have been sickened and were hospitalized with listeriosis, the illness caused by this pathogenic bacteria. The CRF press release at the FDA states “some of these illnesses have been linked to consuming CRF-manufactured or processed products.” Two of those sickened have died, but listeriosis was not the cause of death in either person.
You can see the huge list of recalled products at the FDA web site. There are 358 consumer products sold under 42 separate brand names. The recalled 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.
The brand names of the recalled products are Bybee, Columbia River Organics, Northwest Growers Select, Organic by Nature, C.H. Belt’s, Chef Maxwell, Correct Choice, Earth’s Pride, Endico, Farmer’s Bounty, Fiesta Mart, The Inn, Live Smart, Parade, O Organic, Panda Express, Pantry Essentials, Safeway Kitchens, Signature Kitchens, Trader Joe’s, USDA, VIP, Wellsley Farms, JFDA, McCain, Mity Fresh, Mountain Mist, Overhill Farms, Veggie Maria, Life Foods, Emerald Farms, Endico, Great Value, James Farm, Kirkland Signature, Price First, Quirch, Season’s Choice, Simply Nature, True Goodness, Wild Oats, and Export. You can see UPC numbers, codes, and best by dates of the recalled foods at the FDA site. Look through that list carefully.
If you have purchased any of these products, do not use them, even if you cook them before serving. Foods cooked in the microwave may have cold spots where the bacteria could survive. Throw the packages away in a sealed container, or return them to the place of purchase for a refund. Wash your hands well after handling these products.
Then you should clean your refrigerator or freezer with a mild bleach solution of one tablespoon liquid chlorine bleach to one gallon of warm water to kill any bacteria. Rinse any closed and unopened packages of food with this solution as well, then rinse in clear water. Listeria monocytogenes bacteria can grow at refrigerator temperatures, and freezing does not kill it.
If you ate any of these recalled products, watch yourself for the symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning for the next 70 days. That is how long it can take for the symptoms to appear, although symptoms usually appear within three weeks.
Symptoms of listeriosis include flu-like fever and muscle aches, upset stomach or diarrhea, stiff neck, headache, and loss of balance. Pregnant women can suffer premature labor, stillbirth, or miscarriages if they contract this illness, even though their symptoms may be very mild. If you do experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible and tell her you ate one of these recalled products.