Concern about listeria contamination has prompted a massive recall of frozen fruits and vegetables. After tracking the spread of eight cases of listeria infections, the U.S. Center for Disease Control identified frozen fruits and vegetables processed by CRF Frozen Foods in Pasco, Washington as the likely cause. In response, CRF Frozen Foods issued a voluntary recall of over 300 frozen fruits and vegetables that may contain the listeria bacterium.
Some of the recalled products (such as Organic by Nature vegetables) are sold here in the Commonwealth. Consumers and businesses alike should check their freezers for affected products. A full list of the recalled items are available at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm498841.htm. You will need to compare the UPC code and best-by dates on the package to determine if your frozen produce falls within the recall. To avoid risk of an infection, do not consume produce affected by the recall—simply dispose of the items or return them to the store.
You’re probably wondering—what is listeria? It is a foodborne pathogen that can be particularly lethal if it makes its way into the bloodstream. Most healthy immune systems can fend off an infection, but older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and others with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to an infection. Symptoms of a listeriosis infection include fever and muscle aches, and sometimes gastrointestinal problems. If you’ve consumed recalled products and experience these symptoms, the CDC recommends that you consider seeking medical care. For more information about listeria and listeriosis, visit CDC’s website: http://www.cdc.gov/listeria.
The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice to any individual or entity. This information is not intended to create, and the reading of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
Teresita J. Sablan is the consumer counsel for Office of the Attorney General.