There have been three major human food recalls this week, as well as one recall that affects man’s best friend. Sprouts and beef were recalled after cases of E. coli poisoning were reported, and seven tons of hummus were recalled after a potential for listeria contamination was identified. To find out which brands to beware of, check out the four major recalls this week below.
The Two Bugs to Blame
E. coli can be particularly devastating to the human digestive system. All humans have some natural E. coli in their digestive system, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but some strains of E. coli produce the Shiga toxin. Chances are, if you hear of E. coli infections, Shiga toxin–producing E. coli is responsible. E. coli infections can be very unpleasant, resulting in symptoms such as diarrhea and even kidney failure.
Listeria, the other bacteria at fault this week, can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects seniors, pregnant women, newborns, and people with compromised immune systems. Listeriosis usually manifests as fever and muscle aches, and it sometimes causes diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms, the CDC reports. In older people and those who have immune deficiencies, septicemia and meningitis are a possible result.
You may need to be careful about hamburgers at your barbecues this weekend: 1.8 million pounds of ground beef were voluntarily recalled by Wolverine Packing Company because of possible E. coli contamination. Wolverine distributes nationwide, and stores that could potentially have contaminated beef are in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Gordon Food Service Marketplaces, Surf N Turf Market, Giorgio’s Italian Deli, M Sixty Six General Store, Supervalu, and Buchtel Food Mart are all on a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) watch list. If you bought ground beef from this list of retailers, you might want to pitch it.
Even vegetarians aren’t safe from E. coli exposure. As of Wednesday, seven cases of E. coli infection have been confirmed in Idaho and Washington. Preliminary investigations point to raw clover sprouts from Evergreen Fresh Spouts of Idaho.
Food manufacture Lansal Inc., which distributes products to Trader Joe’s, Target, and Giant Eagle, recalled over seven tons of hummus because of a possible listeria contamination. If you have Trader Joe’s Edamame Hummus purchased in one of 18 states from Arizona to Georgia to North Carolina, opt for something else to eat with your pita chips.
You’ll no longer be able to purchase pet treats manufactured in China from Petco and PetSmart. Petco will stop selling the Chinese-made treats by the end of 2014, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported a potential link between jerky products from China and illnesses in dogs. Poor Fido.