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Millions of Pounds of Prepared Foods Recalled for Salmonella and Listeria

This latest series of recalls may make you want to think twice about some of those grab-and-go food items from your local grocery store or convenience for a while. Earlier this week, a recall was issued for millions of pounds of ready to eat salads and other foods, including burritos, wraps, pizzas and entrees that were manufactured  by about a dozen food manufacturers and sold at some major retailers, including Kroger, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, 7-Eleven and Walmart, all based on a potential risk of salmonella and/or listeria contamination.

The Recall Started With Contaminated Salad

The recalls were issued by Bakkavor Foods, Envolve Foods and Ruiz Food Products among many others, who notified the U.S. Department of Agriculture about several products they shipped that may have included ingredients provided by a single company, McCain Foods, that could be contaminated. Among the ingredients in question included corn, diced onions and other vegetables, which may have been contaminated with bacteria.

The initial recalls were announced Oct. 17, and they involved relatively small quantities of salads, ranging up to perhaps 940 pounds of salads, including Whole Foods’ Santa Fe-style salad with chicken, which was primarily sold in its California stores; Trader Joe’s labeled BBQ Flavored chicken salad, which was sold in a number of states; and Walmart’s Marketside Fiesta Salad with Steak, sold in some of its stores.

The Recall Then Grew to Millions of Pounds of Food, Nationwide

However, at the beginning of this week, the recall was extended to much larger quantities and types of foods, including more than 795,000 pounds of ready-to-eat meat and poultry products, including some brands of bacon, as well as egg and cheese burritos, as well as chicken sausage, egg white and cheese breakfast burritos. Bakkavor Foods, which makes products for both Harris Teeter and Trader Joe’s, reports that the recalled products may contain an onion ingredient supplied by McCain Foods that may be contaminated with salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

These products were distributed nationwide and produced between Sept. 27, 2017, and Oct. 15, 2018, although, according to the USDA, some of Bakkavor’s products for Harris Teeter, some have use-by dates of Oct. 24 and Oct. 25, and a 16-ounce Harris Teeter Deli-Bakery brand BBQ style chicken artisan pizza has use by dates from Jan. 7, 2019, to April 11, 2019. Bakkavor also has recalled Trader Joe’s carnitas with salsa verde burritos, with use-by dates through Oct. 24, based on the same concerns.

There are many other products in this current nationwide recall. For example, Corona, California-based Envolve Foods is recalling nearly  293,000 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken and beef products including 22-ounce bags of Simple Truth Chicken Bibimbap, Thai Style Green Curry and Chicken Tikka Masala. In addition, the company is recalling The Cadence Gourmet-branded Steak Fajitas, Tuscan Tomato Basil Chicken & Sausage, and Rustic Toasted Tomato Basil Chicken & Vegetables, all of which had expiration dates heading well into 2019. These products were being sold in more than 25 states, including Texas, at stores such as Kroger, Fred Meyer, and Ralphs.

The Recall Then Extended to Convenience Store Food

A very popular snack at 7-Eleven, Go-Go Taquitos were also recalled from the chain nationwide by Denison, Texas-based Ruiz Food Products of Denison, Texas, as part of a recall of about 2.5 million pounds of ready-to-eat meat and poultry taquitos because of a potential risk of salmonella and listeria. The recall involved Beef & Taco Cheese Taquitos, Buffalo Style Cooked Glazed Chicken Taquitos and Chipotle Chicken Taquitos. All of those products, which had been made between July 1 and Oct. 10, were taken off the market after Ruiz Food learned about a problem with diced onions used in the making of their beef and cheese taquitos on Oct. 16.

Just days before, on Oct. 14, 7-Eleven had already recalled two different sizes of its 7-Eleven Bistro Southwest Style Salad With Bacon, which was produced on Oct. 13 by Prime Deli Corp., of Lewisville, Texas because it was made with potentially tainted corn from McCain Foods.

In addition, SK Food Group recalled more than 174,000 pounds of Jenny Craig Chicken Wrap with BBQ Sauce, produced from Oct. 15, 2017, to Oct. 15, 2018, because they contained vegetables that might be contaminated with either listeria or salmonella. These frozen, fully-cooked wraps were largely shipped directly to consumers through catalog sales in 11 states, including Texas.

Salmonella is the most common foodborne illness in the United States, causing more than 1 million illnesses every year. Most people infected develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours. While the illness clears up for most people with no lingering effects, nearly 23,000 salmonella infections lead to hospitalization and 450 Americans die each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Likewise, the CDC reports that about 1,600 people are infected with listeriosis each year and about 260 die as a result.

For a complete list of everything that’s been recalled, check out the USDA’s current recalls site at www.fsis.usda.gov

Food Poisoning, Recall, Salmonella Outbreak