Consumer News

Whole Foods Market Recalls Vegetables Over Possible Listeria Contamination

Listeria or Listeriosis is caused by the bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes. In the United States, 1,600 citizens are infected annually. Though the infection might have a mild impact on pregnant women, it could reach the fetus via the placenta and can turn fatal. 

Since the infection is largely a foodborne illness, suspected produces that are contaminated are recalled several times over the year to prevent contamination from spreading to people who consume them. This year, there have been a few recalls already but the latest announcement was made by the food distributor, Mann Packing Co. on a variety of food products manufactured by Whole Foods Market. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informed the supplier, after which Whole Foods Market initiated a voluntary recall. 

The products recalled were of different kinds such as salads, chicken, vegetables and Chinese dishes, which were available to purchase in hot and cold bars, plastic containers and chef 's cases. The food recalled were out for less than a month and distributed from October 10 to November 4 specifically. Soon after, the FDA issued a press release on November 6. No adverse consequences or even mild illnesses have been notified to the authorities till date. The food purchased is fully refundable, as per FDA's press release. 

In total, 70 products were recalled from the following states: Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, Arizona, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Some of the other states are New York, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Hawaii, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. 

In people who have good immunity, the Listeria bacteria just causes fever, headaches, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea, which are conditions that are easy to recover from. For others with poor immunity, especially children and old people, the infection is problematic. Particularly in pregnant women, things can take a turn for the worse and lead to miscarriages, stillbirths and fetal infection. 

According to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Listeriosis leads to the fetal dying in 20 percent of pregnancies, with newborn death results in 3 percent of the cases. 

From the data received by the CDC from July 20, 2017 to August 1, 2019, 24 people were reported to had been diagnosed with Listeria. Of them, 22 were hospitalized and two deaths occurred. According to the agency’s investigation, they could not identify a common source.

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