The Oregon-based Reser's Fine Foods Inc. has announced the recall of numerous varieties of refrigerated salads sold across 29 states including British Columbia due to possible Listeria contamination, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports.
A total of 19 refrigerated salad items have been recalled after one of the ingredient suppliers alerted of possible contamination Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which has been linked to serious and fatal infections in younger children, older adults, people with compromised immune systems and pregnant women.
The contaminated ingredient, onion, was used in potato, macaroni and tuna salads. These products are packed in plastic containers containing Best Before Dates spanning from April 27 to May 10, 2016.
Several other retail grocery stores have recalled other products containing the contaminated ingredient.
A brand of frozen vegetables called Pictsweet has also been recalled due to possible contamination from onions. Included in the retails stores who joined the recall in abundance of precaution are Giant Food, Martin's, Wegmans, Tops, Food Lion and Stop & Shop.
There were no reports of illnesses as of the moment.
Listeriosis, a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, is a public health concern in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.
This infection could be reduced by following the recommendations imposed for safe food preparation, transport, storage and consumption. A couple of Listeria outbreaks from contaminated food were reported over the past year.
Signs and symptoms of this bacterial infection include fever, muscle pain, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. People infected with the bacteria could develop an invasive infection wherein the bacteria may infect beyond the gastrointestinal tract.
Pregnant women are at higher risk of complications associated with the bacteria including miscarriage, stillbirth, or life-threatening infections in the developing baby. For healthy people, short-term symptoms may include stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, high fever, and severe head ache.
Older adults and those with weakened immune systems, clinical presentations may become more severe including septicemia or infection in the blood and meningitis, a dangerous inflammation of the coverings of the brain and spinal cord.
"Consumers are urged not to consume these products. Consumers who purchased these products may take them back to the store for a refund or discard them," the company said [PDF] in a statement.