Listeria and E.coli Concerns: Many Foods Implicated
This was a bad week for food producers. A lot of food has been recalled this week because of fears of foodborne illnesses. Early in the week, on May 19, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that Detroit-based Wolverine Packing Co. was recalling nearly 1.8 million pounds of ground beef that was sold to restaurants in four Midwestern states, due to a fear of contamination with E. coli bacteria.
The recall affects ground beef produced by the company between March 31 and April 18, 2014. The affected products are marked with the establishment number “EST. 2574B” and a production date code between “03 31 14” and “04 18 14.” So far, FSIS reports that 11 people have become ill from the tainted beef.
On May 22, a report was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claiming that at least seven confirmed and three likely cases of E. coli infection have been linked to raw clover sprouts. So far, all of the cases have occurred in either Idaho or Washington, but half of those who have been contaminated have been hospitalized.
The CDC’s preliminary investigation noted that the likely source of the outbreak was raw clover sprouts produced by Idaho-based Evergreen Fresh Sprouts LLC. The Idaho and Washington state departments of health are advising consumers to not eat raw clover sprouts produced by the company.
E. coli bacteria can lead to very serious illness. While most victims will just get a slight bit of diarrhea, stomach pain and vomiting, and will recover within a week, others’ symptoms can become much more severe, including kidney problems and possibly even hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The elderly, those whose immune systems are weak and children under 5 are most susceptible to infection.
If that’s not enough, the Texas Department of Health also announced that Lansal Inc. had recalled nearly 15,000 pounds of its hummus and dip products because of possible Listeria contamination, which they uncovered during a routine test of Archer Farms Traditional Hummus, a product carried in Target stores. As a precaution, Lansal Inc. decided to voluntarily recall all products manufactured at the same facility at the same time as the hummus.
In addition to Target’s Archer Farms hummus, which was distributed nationwide, the recall includes some Giant Eagle hummus distributed in four Eastern states; Large and small Trader Joe’s 5 Layered Dip with a use-by date of April 15, distributed in 11 states; and the 8-ounce size of Trader Joe’s Edamame Hummus, with use-by dates of April 28, April 29 and May 9, and distributed in 17 states.
Finally, Sherman Produce also announced a voluntary recall of more than 240 cases of bulk and packaged walnuts sold to retailers in Missouri and Illinois, after an FDA sampling detected Listeria in walnuts at their processing facility. The recall affects Schnucks brand 10 oz. trays of walnuts with UPC code 00338390032 and marked with best by dates 03/15 and 04/15, as well as bulk walnuts that were packaged in 25 lb bulk cardboard boxes.
While Listeria may not cause normally healthy adults to become seriously ill, it can be extremely risky for small children and pregnant women. A pregnant woman who consumes Listeria-contaminated food has a greater risk of miscarriage, and it’s possible to pass Listeriosis onto her unborn child. For newborns, Listeriosis is fatal between 25 and 50 percent of the time.
If you have any of the above products, dispose of them or return them to the store for a full refund. If you or a loved one has become sick after consuming any contaminated food, please contact the experienced and knowledgeable Texas Food Poisoning Injury Lawyer at Hill Law Firm as soon as you can, in order to protect your rights.