The FDA has announced a massive recall of frozen foods that may be contaminated with Listeria. The frozen fruits and vegetables involved in the recall have been shipped to every state in the U.S., plus Mexico and Canada as well. And the products in question, due to their long shelf life, may have been purchased by consumers as far back as 2014.
The CDC has also issues warnings related to the recall.
There are over 400 products included in the recall, and they have been sold under more than 40 brand names at stores include Target, Trader Joe’s, Piggly Wiggly, Kroger, Safeway, and Costco. The products are from CRF Frozen Foods of Pasco, Wash.
The Associated Press has reported that eight people have been sickened by these products, and two people have died — however, listeria was not the primary cause of death. (Contaminated food is particularly dangerous for infants, the elderly, pregnant women (possibly resulting in miscarriages or stillbirths), and people with weakened immune systems.)
CRF Frozen Foods announced on May 4 that it would expand its voluntary recall of frozen organic and traditional fruits and vegetables. The expanded recall includes all of the frozen organic and traditional fruit and vegetable products manufactured or processed in CRF Frozen Foods’ Pasco facility since May 1, 2014. All affected products have the best by dates or sell by dates between April 26, 2016 and April 26, 2018. The company suspended operations at its Pasco facility on April 25. The Associated Press, citing a CRF spokesperson, says the company is still trying to figure out the source of the contamination.
The FDA and CDC say they have developed the PulseNet system to track the genetic makeup of salmonella, listeria and E.coli. PulseNet performs DNA “fingerprinting” on Listeria bacteria isolated from ill people by using techniques called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and whole genome sequencing. CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks.
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