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Contaminated Frozen Food

Posted On 06/03/16

On May 3, 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it had recalled more than 350 different frozen food products because they are linked to a deadly outbreak of Listeria [1]. Listeria is a bacteria that can cause serious infections.  While the infections primarily affect older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems, even persons without these risk factors can also become sickened and die.  Listeria outbreaks are less common than salmonella or E. coli, but it is the most lethal of the three, killing almost 20 percent of those who become sickened.  So far, the CDC knows of eight people who have developed Listeriosis as a result of this current food scare.

The recalled products include such household staples as green beans, peas, broccoli and blueberries sold under 42 different brand names at major national grocery chains that include Costco, Safeway, and Trader Joes.  While sold under many different brand names, the CDC believes that frozen vegetables produced CRF Frozen Foods in Pasco, Washington is the likely source of the outbreak. The CDC recall includes all frozen products processed at the plant since May, 2014.

In order to ascertain whether any of the bags of frozen fruits and vegetables in your freezer are subject to the recall, check the UPC codes and “best by” dates on each package against the FDA’s list [2].  If they match, you can return the recalled food to the store for a refund or just throw it away.  It is not possible to safely cook and eat the food.

Food borne illness strike with some frequency.  Last year, the CDC recalled all ice cream produced by Blue Bell Creameries because of a similar Listeria outbreak.  Listeria is exceedingly hard to eradicate in a food processing plant because it can grow even in cold temperatures.  Recently, we recovered a significant amount for a young girl who developed E.coli from contaminated bagged spinach.

If you or a loved one has become ill because of a food borne illness, call us for a free consultation. 

Author: Serena C. Montague
Publication Date: June 03, 2016