Whether you love veggies and eat them with every meal or prefer to buy them and watch them slowly rot in your fridge, there's a widespread recall you need to know about. The culprit is, once again, a harmful bacteria known as listeria. It's no joke, and not even popular grocery stores are safe. Before you totally freak out, here's how to tell if your vegetables are part of the listeria recall.
The packaged veggies in question come from a few different brands including Archer Farms, Trader Joe's, Walmart, and Whole Foods, according to the FDA. A full list of the affected products is available on the FDA's website, but the items on it range from vegetable medleys to broccoli slaw and even hummus. For consumers, cross checking a recent grocery hall with the FDA's concise list is the quickest way to spot potential contamination. The government safety organization even has photos of labels to make finding the important info super easy.
A Voluntary Recall
Mann Packing, a California-based vegetable company with products in most national supermarkets, is voluntarily recalling a (rather large) number of products, the FDA said in a press release dated Thursday, Oct. 19. In a statement to the FDA, Mann Packing's director of corporate marketing, Gina Nucci, stressed that the recall is "a reflection of our commitment to ensuring the safety of our consumers." She said,
As an owner of this company and a mom, providing safe and healthy foods to our consumers and their families is always our top priority.
According to the release, Mann Packing is "fully cooperating" with health officials after random samples of their products tested positive for the bacteria with an even scarier scientific name: Listeria monocytogenes. Ingesting Listeria-contaminated foods can cause a serious infection and sometimes death for people with weaker immune systems like pregnant women, children, and the elderly. Healthier people are more likely to experience "short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea," the FDA reports. Yikes.
Where To Check
For Mann's products in particular, you'll want to check the "best if used by dates" on the front of the package. If your vegetables are marked with a date between Oct. 11 and Oct. 20, DO NOT EAT THEM — either throw them away or take them back to where you bought them for a refund. The good news (yes, good news exists even though it feels like a scary time to walk the produce section) is that no one has gotten sick from the products yet. Or, at least, no one has gotten sick and reported it to public health officials, the FDA said, offering some comfort for already-queasy vegetable lovers.
If you think you might've eaten one of the veggie products listed on the FDA's website, check with your doctor immediately. All that said, maybe now's a great time to start boosting your immune system with some healthy gut foods. What are those, you ask? Yogurt, kombucha, almonds, and whole grains are all wonderful for increasing good bacteria in your gut. The more good bacteria you have, the better your body will be at fighting off scary infections.
The moral of this Listeria story is: Check your labels! Chances are your packaged veg' is perfectly fine to eat, but if you're feeling a tad wary of the pre-packaged stuff, you can still munch on the fresh stuff worry-free. And if you're not feeling well, call your doctor as soon as possible.
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