Ruth’s Salads has announced an expanded recall of pimento cheese products, which covers pimento spreads of varying sizes and flavors plus a pineapple cream cheese product.
In a recall announcement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration pointed to Listeria monocytogenes found during random testing by state inspectors.
On Feb. 2, the company already recalled one lot of 7-ounce pimento spread containers from five states. Now, all lots of seven items have been recalled in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
These products, packed in Chester in South Carolina, are the Original Pimento Spread in 7, 12, and 24 oz; Old Fashioned Pimento Spread in 16 oz; Jalapeno Pimento Spread in 12 oz; Lite Pimento Spread in 12 oz; and Cream Cheese with Pineapple-Pecans in 12 oz.
“The company elected to expand the recall as a precaution,” a company statement reads.
No illness has been linked to the recalled products so far, but listeria infection can take up to 70 days to develop, warned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While listeria often causes only short-term symptoms such as high fever, headache, nausea, and diarrhea in healthy people, it can lead to serious, sometimes deadly sickness in young kids, elderly individuals, or the immune-compromised.
In pregnant women, listeria infection can also cause a miscarriage or stillbirth.
The recalled Ruth’s products, all packed in plastic containers, are labeled “Packed by B&H Foods, Inc., Chester, SC.” Consumers who have bought them can return them to the place of purchase in exchange for a full refund. Those with questions may call the company at 800-532-0409 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.
A listeria outbreak rocked Blue Bell Creameries in 2015, where the Texas-based ice cream maker had indications of a potential contamination in its products. The firm was forced to get rid of much of its frozen goods, including stuff that tested free from the bacteria, and was slapped with stringent precautionary measures by federal regulators.
The wipeout of hundreds of thousands of ice cream products led to millions of dollars in losses, translating to shutting down of some plant operations, Blue Bell’s sales getting slashed in half, and massive employee layoff.
Kashi granola products as well as Clif Bar items also went through a recall situation over fears of listeria contamination.
In a much bigger, multi-state recall event, the CDC pointed to 358 different frozen fruits and vegetables as the reason behind eight people falling ill from listeria strains. The probe suggested that the source had likely come from a contaminated surface anywhere in the facilities or along the supply line of the fruits and vegetables.
The CDC’s listeria prevention tips differ from one food item to another. One, or instance, should avoid eating soft cheese unless it is labeled as made with pasteurized milk. Sprouts should be cooked thoroughly as rinsing them will not get rid of bacteria, while hotdogs and deli meats should be stored factory-sealed and unopened for no more than two weeks in the refrigerator.