Be sure to check your refrigerator's fruit drawer and your kitchen's produce basket. This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a voluntary recall on select potatoes, lemons, limes, and oranges because they may be contaminated with listeria.
According to the FDA, Freshouse II, LLC of Salisbury, North Carolina announced a recall on certain Valencia oranges, lemons, limes, organic limes, as well as red potatoes after the company identified presence of the bacteria "a piece of equipment" in one of its packing facilities.
"We have ceased the production and distribution of the product that was packed on the equipment in question and are taking corrective actions and continually evaluating our cleaning and sanitation regimes," the company said in the FDA's recall announcement.
Jamey Friedman, president of Freshouse II, LLC, said in a statement on the company's website that they've issued this recall "out of an abundance of caution with the steadfast intent to minimize even the slightest risk to public health."
"We take food safety and this recall seriously," Friedman said. "Freshouse is committed to providing consumers with fresh, nutritious, safe products." According to the FDA, "to date" no illnesses have been reported in regards to this recall.
The products included in the recall were shipped to retailers in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. Products shipped to retailers were sold under the following brands: Freshouse, Natures Promise, Fresh From The Start, and the supermarket chain Wegmans.
Affected products sent to Maryland and North Carolina were shipped to wholesalers.
The company posted photos of the recalled products' packaging, which you can find here. You can also find the full list of recalled products with identifiable information, such as brand and UPC number, here.
Infection from listeria — a bacteria that can live in substances like soil, water, and animal feces, according to WebMD — can be especially serious for pregnant women, people over 65, and those with weakened immune systems, according to the Mayo Clinic. The food-borne illness can also be dangerous for unborn babies and newborns, the Mayo Clinic advises. The FDA notes that listeria infection can "cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of listeria include headache, stiffness, confusion, loss of balance, as well as fever and muscle aches. For pregnant women, according to the CDC, they "typically experience only fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle aches." The CDC also notes that healthy people "rarely become seriously ill" if infected with the bacteria.
If you find that you have any of the recalled products at home, Freshouse II, LLC says you should not eat the product and destroy it, or you can return it to where you bought it for a refund. "Our priority is to carry out this recall effectively and efficiently in order to reduce even the slightest risk to public health," the company said in a statement. "At the same time, we are reviewing all of our current food safety protocols. We work hard every day to provide safe, nutritious fresh produce to our customers and their consumers."