An East Coast-based company has announced a massive recall of fresh vegetable products that were shipped nationwide to some of the country’s largest grocery chains due to a Listeria monocytogenes scare.
Growers Express announced a voluntary recall of fresh vegetable products that include packaged varieties of butternut squash, cauliflower, zucchini, and a butternut squashed based veggie bowl.
Recalled items were shipped to retailers such as Trader Joe’s, Stop & Shop and Bozzutos in New York and Connecticut. The recalled items were labeled with a “Best If Used By” Date of June 26 – June 29, 2019. No other Growers Express products are impacted or part of this recall.
The FDA noted that the recall does not affect or include any Green Giant canned or frozen vegetable products.
A complete list of the recalled items, which were produced in Biddeford, Maine, can be found here.
No illnesses have been reported in connection to the consumption of the vegetables. The recall was the result of a routine sampling program by the packing house which revealed that the finished products contained the bacteria. The company has ceased the distribution of the product as FDA and the company continues their investigation as to what caused the problem.
According to the FSIS, consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.
“Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms.
"An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems.”
"The safety of our consumers is our first priority," Tom Byrne, President of Growers Express said. "We self-reported the need for this recall to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and stopped production immediately after being notified of a single positive sample by the Massachusetts Department of Health.
“We are deep sanitizing the entire facility and our line equipment, as well as conducting continued testing on top of our usual battery of sanitation and quality and safety tests before resuming production."
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