That's it, let's all just quit eating vegetables. Fine, I guess we need them so we don't get scurvy, but these recalls are just getting tiresome. While the summer of 2016 was plagued with one frozen veggie recall after another, the latest one is on fresh pre-cut produce. Thankfully, no illnesses have been reported in the Country Fresh vegetable recall, according to USA Today, but there is a possible risk of listeria contamination. Great! Just great! Can't have fresh, can't have frozen, let's all quit our jobs and start an organic co-op together. Wait, what about canned? Is that still OK? Here's how to tell if your Country Fresh vegetables are included in the recall.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Country Fresh has recalled 30,000 cases of vegetables sold under its name and generic labels at retailers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The products were distributed to BI-LO, Fresh Point, Harris Teeter, Publix, QuikTrip, Spinx, Wal-Mart, and Winn Dixie, and bear "Best if used by" dates between Aug. 7, and Aug. 19, 2016. Honestly, though, any vegetables that were best used weeks ago should go in the trash, regardless of where they were purchased or what producer they came from. That's just gross.
Country Fresh Director of Food Safety Max Payen said in a statement provided to the FDA, "We are treating this incident very seriously because we want to ensure that our customers are provided with only the safest, most wholesome, and high-quality products available." The recall was triggered when listeria was found in a random sample of product taken at a store by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Country Fresh is currently investigating the cause of the contamination, and has temporarily halted product distribution.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, listeria can pose a serious threat to pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. Those outside these groups can also be affected in rare cases. Listeriosis infection is generally marked by fever, muscle aches, an, occasionally, gastrointestinal symptoms. Interestingly, it presents differently in pregnant and non-pregnant patients; pregnant individuals often experience fatigue, while symptoms for those who aren't pregnant can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Listeriosis can can be diagnosed via a blood or spinal fluid test, and can be treated with antibiotics. Stay safe, and check those labels.