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article imageUpdate on current recall of foods and snacks over Listeria fears

By Karen Graham     May 6, 2016 in Food
The list of companies and brands included in the two current recalls over contamination with Listeria monocytogenes is growing by leaps and bounds.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is continually updating their current list of recalled products, and it has reached the point where it is safe to say that consumers need to be particularly careful when purchasing any snack products containing sunflower seeds and any frozen fruits, vegetables or vegetable blends.
The big sunflower seed recall
According to NBC News, the supplier of the sunflower seed and kernels distributed nationwide to retail outlets, distribution centers, and food manufacturers is a Minnesota supplier, SunOpta. SunOpta Inc., founded in 1973, is a multinational Canadian company that owns and operates businesses in the natural and organic food markets. They source, process and distribute organic and natural food products.
According to the news release issued May 3, 2016, by SunOpta's corporate headquarters in Canada, the contaminated sunflower seeds and kernels came from products produced at the Crookston, Minnesota facility. Actually, what this writer wants to know is where did SunOpta get the sunflower seeds?
The initial recall notice for products containing contaminated sunflower seeds was issued on May 3, 2016, by Treehouse Foods. That recall included at least 100 products covering a plethora of different brands.
Since that time, the following companies have issued recalls of products containing sunflower seeds or kernels:
Pita Pal salads
Creative Snacks Co., Heart Smart Mix, The Fresh Market, Plentiful Planet, and others
Mountain Thins
Market District, Dakota's Best, Biggys, Planters
Hickory Harvest, IM Good, Sheetz, and others
Southern Grove, Nature's Harvest, Roundy, and others
Market District
This list includes all recalls issued as of May 6, 016.
The frozen fruit and vegetable recall
CRF Frozen Foods of Pasco, Washington initiated the first recall of a few of their frozen vegetable products over fears of contamination with Listeria on March 23, 2016. In this case, the contamination was discovered through routine testing by state health officials in Ohio. This recall covered 35 states and four provinces in Canada.
Frozen Vegetables
On May 2, 2016, CRF Foods had to expand their recall to include all of the frozen organic and traditional fruit and vegetable products manufactured or processed in CRF Frozen Foods' Pasco facility since May 1, 2014. The recall included 358 consumer products sold under 42 separate brands, On May 4, another expanded recall was issued, basically saying the same thing as the May 2, recall notice.
CRF Foods has shut down their operations at the Pasco, Wash. facility while the investigation into the source of the Listeria contamination is being pursued. But here is what is interesting about this particular outbreak. The CDC began their investigation into the outbreak in March 2016.
The CDC discovered that eight people infected with the outbreak strains of Listeria have been reported from three states since September 13, 2013. Epidemiological and laboratory evidence indicates that frozen vegetables produced by CRF Frozen Foods of Pasco, Washington and sold under various brand names are one likely source of illness in this outbreak. If CRF Foods proves to be linked to this recall, why has this contamination at their facility been allowed to go on so long?
Again, the safest best for everyone is to be very careful in what you purchase, and if you have a question about a product, ask your grocery store's manager about its safety. And more important, if you have any of the products in your cupboards or freezer, throw them out.
More about Recalls, listeria contamination, Update, Fruits and vegetables, CRF Foods
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