The potentially deadly listeria bacteria, known to cause the infection listeriosis, can survive even in the absence of oxygen and grow and multiply inside the host's cells. Listeria is one of the most virulent food-borne pathogens, causing 20 percent to 30 percent of clinical infections and 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths in the United States each year.
The resilient listeria continues to spread into the food products that we purchase and consume every day.
General Mills announced Aug. 26 it is recalling a limited quantity of frozen Cascadian Farm Cut Green Beans that were produced over two days in March last year. After one package of the product tested positive for listeria, the company issued the recall as a precautionary measure.
Fortunately, there have been no illnesses reported in relation to consumption of the green beans.
Specifically, the company is recalling 10-ounce bags of frozen Cascadian Farm Cut Green Beans with "Better If Used By" labels of 10APR2016 and 11APR2016.
The contaminated Cascadian Farm Frozen Cut Green Beans were distributed nationwide. Only the 10-ounce package sample tested positive for listeria, with no other variety or production date affected by the contamination.
General Mills urged consumers to immediately dispose of the products subject to recall. The Cascadian Farm Consumer Relations hotline at 1-800-624-4123 is open to consumers who have questions and for product replacement.
Listeriosis, a sickness caused by the bacteria called listeria, is an infection that mostly affects seniors, pregnant women, newborn babies, and people with weaker immune systems. Symptoms of the infection include fever, muscle aches, headache, confusion and convulsions.
General Mills is the latest among several food companies in the U.S. to recall listeria-contaminated products this year.
Last fall, four Minnesotans were reported to be among 32 people nationwide infected with listeriosis from consuming caramel apples. Two of the reported infected Minnesotans died, and a California packaging company then issued a large apple recall.
Prior to the caramel apple incident, the Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries had to stop ice cream production for several months after 10 illnesses and three deaths in Kansas were reported to be associated with listeria contamination found in the company's products.
Photo: Mike Mozart | Flickr