Taylor Farms, a U.S.-based fresh-cut fruit and vegetable producer based in Salinas, Calif., is recalling its broccoli salad and slaw products across 25 eastern and southern U.S. states because of possible listeria contamination. The refrigerated foods, approximately 5,084 pounds of salad kits, include packets of dressing that may be tainted with the bacteria.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the salad kits were distributed to retail locations in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Vermont. The recalled salad items include the “Taylor Farms Broccoli Crunch With Bacon And Dressing,” case codes 310151 and 310153.
The salads were sold at supermarket deli counters, including those at Price Chopper, Shaw’s, Shoprite, Acme Markets, Stop & Shop and others. Winn-Dixie and Giant also removed the items from their stores.
The ingredients are associated with another U.S.-based food producer, Reser’s Fine Foods, which recalled 109,000 cases of refrigerated ready-to-eat-items distributed throughout the U.S. and Canada for possible listeria contamination last week. Reser’s recalled its prepared salads, coleslaw and spinach dip, which came from the Reser’s plant in Topeka, Kan.
City News Toronto reported that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency discovered listeria at the Reser’s plant using microbiological tests, prompting the Food and Drug Administration to investigate further. The FDA confirmed listeria on surfaces which may have come into contact with many of Reser’s products.
According to the FDA, no illnesses have been reported in connection with the Reser’s recall.
The recall of Taylor Farms’ broccoli salad kits is considered a “class 1” hazard, meaning there is “reasonable probability” that consuming the product will cause “serious adverse health consequences or death.” From the USDA:
Case labels bear the establishment number “EST. 34522” inside the USDA mark of inspection. Retail consumers and the general public will not typically see the boxes and labels, because the product is typically unboxed by retailers (such as deli counters and restaurants) and the kit used to make salads for retail sale. The boxes and labels would be more likely to be seen by distributors and retailers.
Consuming food contaminated with the listeria bacteria can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that particularly afflicts older adults, people with weak immune systems, pregnant women and newborns. The bacteria are often found in wild and domesticated animals, as well as in soil and water. If vegetables, meats and other foods come into contact with tainted soil or manure, the foods can become infected with the bacteria.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, listeriosis most often causes a gastrointestinal illness. Symptoms include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice, and shock. Other symptoms include fever, muscle aches, confusion, stiff neck, loss of balance and convulsions.
More serious results of listeria infection include inflammation of the brain, called meningitis, pneumonia, septicemia (a life-threatening infection) or endocarditis (an infection of the heart). In 2011, a listeria outbreak infected 147 people and led to 33 deaths. The illness was traced to a contaminated batch of cantaloupe from Jensen Farms in Colorado.
For a complete list of the items recalled, visit the FDA website.
Philip Ross joined IBTimes in March 2013. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from New York University and a B.A. in International Development Studies from the University of...