No illnesses have been detected.
Several packages of butternut squash, cauliflower, zucchini, and vegetable bowls have been recalled just in time for your preparation of those Fourth of July summer salads.
The vegetable products were voluntarily recalled by the food manufacturer Growers Express due to a potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, bacteria that can cause serious and life-threatening health issues especially in young children, older adults, and people with compromised immune systems, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
While healthy individuals may experience short-term symptoms, such as a fever, headache, nausea, and abdominal pain, pregnant women can experience a stillbirth or miscarriage if exposed to the bacteria.
There have been no illnesses linked to the contamination so far.
Growers Express is currently working to ensure the contamination doesn’t affect other food products.
“The safety of our consumers is our first priority,” Tom Byrne, the president of Growers Express, said in
The packaged vegetables were sold at several retail locations — including Trader Joe’s, Food Lion, Shaws, and Stop and Shop — across the United States.
The products are sold under the brand names Green Giant, Growers Express, Signature Farms, and Trader Joe’s, and most have a best-if-used-by date of June 26 to June 29, 2019.
The contaminated food items include:
- Green Giant Fresh Cauliflower Sweet Potato Crumbles
- Green Giant Fresh Butternut Squash
- Green Giant Fresh Ramen Bowl
- Green Giant Fresh Zucchini Noodles
- Signature Farms Cauliflower Crumbles
- Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Spirals
- Trader Joe’s Zucchini Spirals
Growers Express is urging people to not eat the affected vegetables and throw them out immediately.
Listeria is found everywhere in the environment, including in soil, water, and decaying vegetation.
Though the bacteria is mostly found in moist environments, it’s able to survive in various conditions.
“Unlike many other types of bacteria, Listeria can grow in the colder temperatures of refrigerators and freezers. It’s a pathogen that’s particularly problematic in food-processing plants because it really likes cold, moist, dark environments,” Dr. Niket Sonpal, an internist and gastroenterologist adjunct professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, told Healthline.
Consequently, the longer the contaminated foods are stored in the fridge, the more likely it is that the bacteria will grow, according to the
To combat this, the FDA recommends setting the fridge to about 40°F and the freezer to 0°F.
If you bought the contaminated veggies, wash the inside shelves and sides of your refrigerator and sanitize any cutting boards, utensils, or countertops they came in contact with.
Pets can also spread the bacteria if they eat food contaminated with Listeria, so sanitize their food and water bowls as well to avoid cross contamination.
Cooking your food thoroughly can greatly lower the odds you’ll get sick.
“Your chances of getting sick are very slim if you make sure it’s cooked to a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit,” Sonpal said.
That said, if you know the food’s been contaminated, it’s best to chuck it, he added.
Each year, approximately 1,600 people get listeriosis — the infection caused by eating food contaminated with Listeria — and about 260 of them die, according to the
Although it’s rare for healthy adults to get seriously sick from Listeria,
Pregnant women and their growing babies face the greatest risk, according to Sonpal.
“During pregnancy, a Listeria infection is likely to cause only mild signs and symptoms in the mother. The consequences for the baby, however, may be devastating,” he said.
The fetus could die unexpectedly or experience a life-threatening infection upon being born.
Typically, people’s symptoms start about one to four weeks after eating the contaminated food products.
However, some people may not notice any symptoms until 70 days after being exposed to the bacteria.
In certain cases, the infection could spread to other organs — which is known as invasive listeriosis.
This condition will require hospital care, as about one in five with invasive listeriosis will die.
If you do experience
They’ll be able to confirm an infection via a blood test, and can treat it with antibiotics.
The food manufacturer Growers Express is voluntarily recalling several packages of vegetables due to a potential Listeria contamination.
The food was sold under the brand names Green Giant, Growers Express, Signature Farms, and Trader Joe’s at several retail locations across the United States.
No illnesses have been linked to the contamination so far, however, the company is urging consumers to not eat the food as it can cause serious illness — especially in young children, pregnant women, and older adults.