There are going to be quite a few recalls of sunflower kernels and products made with them in the next few days. SunOpta has informed several retailers that their sunflower seeds may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Since these products are almost all ready-to-eat, including protein bars, snack mixes, and shelled nuts, the government has established zero tolerance for this bacteria.
Check back frequently to our site. We will keep you informed with all of the latest recalls.
One of the reasons these recalls are so serious is that listeriosis, the illness caused by this bacteria, can take up to 70 days to appear. Most people can’t remember what they ate for lunch last week, let alone what they ate two months ago, so people could become sick and not identify the problem. Listeria can be misdiagnosed as other illnesses, especially since the symptoms are similar to the flu.
If you purchased any of the recalled products, make sure that you mark on the calendar when you ate them. If you have any in your home, get rid of them in a sealed container or return them to the store where you bought them for a refund.
Then it’s critical that you clean out the refrigerator, pantry, or cupboard where you kept the recalled products with a mild bleach solution. Use one tablespoon liquid chlorine bleach to one gallon of warm water. Rinse with clean cool water when you are done. Then wash your hands carefully with soap and water.
The symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning include flu-like fever and muscle aches, upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stiff neck, headache, loss of balance, and confusion. Pregnant women need to be concerned about this illness, because listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature labor. In addition, the newborn baby can be born infected. Contact your doctor if you are concerned about this issue.