A huge recall of frozen fruits and vegetables has occurred after Listeria monocytogenes contamination has been found in packages of goods sold across the U.S in all 50 states, and in Canada.
The contamination causing the outbreak is thought to go all the way back to 2013, and involves 8 people falling ill due to the bacterium in this time, and two deaths. In each case the patients, aged between 56 and 86, were hospitalized.
In the cases of the deaths, it is true that both patients were contaminated with listeria, but each individual was experiencing additional health difficulties at the time and officials say they are uncertain as to whether listeria was ultimately responsible for their deaths or not.
Listeria symptoms include a stiff neck, headache, confusion, a fever and muscle aches. It can affect anyone but primarily targets newborns, pregnant women, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems.
The recall of products began back on April 23d, 2016 but the list of products increased significantly on May 2nd.
The enormous list includes hundreds of types of packaged fruits and veggies including corn, pears, carrots, kale, edamame and peaches to name a few.
42 brand names are involved in the recall, so it pays to look. Among others, listed brands include Earth’s Pride, Panda Express, McCain, Kirkland, Signatrue Kitchens and Trader Joe’s.
According to an article in the New York Times, officials are concerned that the bacterium may have trickled down and made its way into other products, resulting in the huge recall.