• Kroger is recalling 16-ounce bags of kale sold at certain stores 
  • It has already pulled the affected products from the produce departments
  • Consumption of the contaminated food can cause listeriosis

Kroger has voluntarily recalled its bagged kale products that may be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes. They can put some people at risk of developing a "serious and sometimes fatal" infection.

The recall affects 16-ounce bags of Kroger kale produced by Baker Farms, the company said in an announcement posted on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website Thursday. It has already pulled all the affected products from its produce section.

"The products were distributed by Kroger grocery stores in the Columbus, Nashville and Atlanta Divisions, servicing Columbus and Toledo, Ohio; Knoxville, Tennessee; eastern West Virginia; and the states of Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina," the company noted.

People can fall ill with listeriosis when they consume products that are contaminated with listeria monocytogenes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. While those who are "healthy" will only experience short-term symptoms such as diarrhea, high fever and severe headache, it can become serious and even fatal in certain groups.

This includes the elderly, young children, those who are frail, have weakened immune systems or are pregnant. Even if the mother is experiencing only a "mild" listeriosis illness, it can cause a "severe" illness in the fetus as the bacteria can spread to the baby through the placenta. It may even cause miscarriages and stillbirth, the CDC noted.

"The disease primarily affects pregnant women, newborns, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems," the agency said. "It's rare for people in other groups to get sick with Listeria infection."

Each year, about 1,600 people in the U.S. are infected by listeriosis and 260 of them die. In the case of the current recall, the company has "not received any reports of illness related to the consumption of this bagged kale product."

Those who have already purchased the affected product should either dispose of it or take it back to the place of purchase to get a full refund.

The affected products have the UPC number 11110-18170 and "best by date of 09-18-2021." Photos of the products are available on the FDA website.

"We are sorry for this inconvenience," the company said. "Your safety is important to us."

Kale Representation. Photo: Anna Sulencka/Pixabay