Recall of 42 brands; Outbreak reaches as 50 states
An outbreak of listeria in frozen vegetables recently worsened, and the list of recalled products expanded to 42 brands. The frozen food recall has now reached all 50 U.S. states and Canada.
CRF Frozen Foods, a company based in Pasco, WA, expanded its voluntary recall of both frozen organic and traditional fruits and vegetables. The company is performing the voluntary recall in cooperation with both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Listeria is a type of bacterium that infects humans and animals through contaminated food. On April 23, CRF Frozen Foods announced the initial recall of 11 frozen vegetable products because of possible Listeria contamination. The company expanded the recall on May 2 to include all organic and traditional frozen vegetable and fruit products processed in its Pasco, WA facility since May 1, 2014. In total, the recall now covers 42 separate brands and 358 consumer products under those 48 brands.
The list of recalled frozen vegetables includes (but is not limited to) green beans, cut corn, green peas, carrots, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, blueberries, broccoli, peaches, and mixed vegetables. The list of recalled brands includes (but is not limited to) Bybee Foods, Columbia River, Northwest Growers, O Organic, Safeway Kitchens, Trader Joe's
CRF Frozen Foods expands recall. All CRF frozen vegetables & fruits have Listeria potential. Affects 358 products. https://t.co/rk199qN80z
— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) May 3, 2016
Two deaths tied to Listeria in 2016
According to the CDC, there have been a total of eight people infected with the outbreak strains of Listeria since September 13, 2013, with two illnesses reported in 2016 and the other six reported in the range of 2013-2015. Six of the eight illnesses occurred in California, and one occurred in each Maryland and Washington.
All eight of those who fell ill with Listeria in those three states were hospitalized, and both the Maryland patient and the Washington patient died. Listeriosis was not considered to be a cause of death for either person, though.
The CDC cautions that Listeria can cause a serious, life-threatening illness, and published recall advice for both consumers and retailers, which recommends -- among other things -- throw away recalled products away in a closed plastic bag placed in a sealed trash can, washing refrigerator, freezer, and/or any other areas were tainted food was stored, and washing hands thoroughly after handling.