The Quaker Oats company issued a voluntary recall this week for certain granola bars for possible listeria contamination. No illnesses were immediately reported from the product, but the PepsiCo subsidiary said the recall was out of "an abundance of caution to protect public health."
The recall was made after the company discovered that a supplier distributed sunflower kernels that may have been contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
According to the recall notice, there can be serious health problems associated with listeria.
"[Listeria monocytogenes is] an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women."
Listeria sickens some 1,600 people in the U.S. per year and 13 percent of the patients sickened with it in 2012 died, Fortune reported. That's a very high fatality rate, especially compared with a food-borne disease like salmonella, which kills fewer than 1 percent of people infected.
The company said that while most of the Quaker Oats products that could have been affected never reached stores, some granola bars were recalled. They were:
- 6.1 ounce boxes of Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars Chocolate Nut Medley with UPC code 30000 32241 and best before dates of: 10/16/2016, 10/17/2016
- 6.1 ounce boxes of Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars Yogurt, Fruit & Nut with UPC 30000 32243 and best before dates of: 10/10/2016, 10/11/2016
As of now, there is no indication that any other Quaker Oats products are affected. People who purchased the products listed above have been urged to throw them away or to get a refund. The company said in its press release that a full refund would be available for consumers at the place of purchase. Consumers with questions can call the company at 800-856-5781.