Vegetables Sold at Major Retailers Recalled for Listeria Contamination
Mann Packing of Salinas, California, is voluntarily recalling packaged vegetables because they may be contaminated with listeria. The recalled vegetables were distributed throughout the United States and Canada with “best if used by” dates from Oct. 11-20 listed on the front of the packaging. The company said it found one positive result on one of its products during random sampling by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. So far, health officials have not received illness associated with these products.
Brands that have been recalled include Signature Farms (Albertsons and Vons), Archer Farms (Target), salad blends sold at Trader Joe’s, several varieties of broccoli and cauliflower sold at Wal-Mart and at least 30 types of bags of vegetables with the Mann label. Mann Packing says it is working with all affected stores to help ensure that the items are removed from shelves. Consumers who bought any of these products should discard them or return them at the place of purchase for a full refund. Mann’s is one of the largest suppliers of western vegetables in North America.
The Dangers of Listeriosis
Listeria monocytogenes is a type of bacteria that is found in water and soil. Vegetables can become contaminated from the soil, and animals can also be carriers. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that listeriosis is the third leading cause of death from food-borne illnesses with about 260 deaths per year. Nearly everyone with listeriosis is hospitalized. The case-fatality rate is about 20 percent. About 25 percent of pregnancy-associated listeriosis cases result in fetal loss or death of the newborn.
Symptoms of listeriosis may show up anytime between two and 30 days after exposure. Symptoms in pregnant women include mild flu-like symptoms, headaches, muscle aches, fever, nausea, and vomiting. If the infection spreads to the nervous system it can cause stiff neck, disorientation, or convulsions. Infection can occur at any time during pregnancy, but it is most common during the third trimester when your immune system is somewhat suppressed. Be sure to contact your healthcare provider if you experience any of these symptoms. A blood test can confirm an infection from listeriosis.
If You Have Been Affected
If you suspect you have been sickened by something you ate, it is important that you get medical attention right away and get diagnostic tests to determine the pathogen and what likely made you sick. If you have any of the product in your home, isolate it so no one else consumes it, and have it tested in an independent lab for the presence of pathogens. Report your illness to the local health care agency which tracks these illnesses. Contact an experienced California food poisoning lawyer who can help you seek and obtain compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, pain and suffering and emotional distress.