We Haven't Heard the Last of the Listeria Onion Recall.
The mere chopped onions and related products are now just a few of the many that have been pulled from shelves in 12 states and three Canadian provinces.
Gills Onions, a company that provides slivered, diced and peeled whole onions, along with celery mix has now voluntarily announced a recall on those products that had expiration dates of August 3. The reason? Possible listeria contamination- leading to a huge onion recall.
Listeria is a bacteria that when ingested, is known to kill 20 percent of people. And the incubation period, or time it takes for the bacteria to take hold can be anywhere from three days to two to three months.
Listeria Onion Recall
The US Food and Drug Administration has a list of the foods affected by the recall on its website, and the list is a long one. The grocery stores that are affected are as follows:
- Trader Joes
- Whole Foods
- Weis stores
Where is the Onion Recall?
The August 2012 onion recall covers the states of California, Arizona, Illinois, Colorado, New York, Montana, Oregon, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington and Texas. The Canadian provinces include Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.
Gil's Onions has reassured us saying that the expanded listeria food recall is announced just to be safe, and that none of the suspected products have been proven to have listeria. There have also been no reported illnesses as of yet. The company went on to say that they have discovered the problem and are attacking it aggressively on top of their already careful food safety practices. They have hired a panel of microbiologists and experts that know the bacteria listeria well, and are stepping up their sanitation practices and testing products.
What is Listeria?
The bacteria, listeria is actually officially called listeria monocytogenes. And as scary as this recall sounds, exposure to listeria is quite common. The Center for Disease Control states that most healthy people can get rid of the listeria bacteria on their own in as little as one week. However, symptoms of having ingested listeria should be taken very seriously, as 250 people out of the reported 1,600 infections each year die from listeria. The little, seeming harmless bacteria that most of us can fight off can actually cause encephalitis or meningitis, two conditions that can kill.
The largest source of listeria infections are from different foods that are contaminated with soil or animal feces. But many of the outbreaks seem to stem from produce. Listeria can, though, be found in many sources of food, such as deli items, hot dogs and milk that is unpasteurized, along with cheeses.
Signs of Listeria
First signs of listeria contamination are abdominal discomfort and diarrhea. Also felt are flu-like symptoms, such as muscle aches and fever. More severe symptoms are neck pain, headache, confusion loss of balance and seizures. Do not be afraid to go to the doctor if you suspect you have eaten food contaminated with listeria. The people most at risk for listeria infections are pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems and the elderly.
Here is the link for the list of foods from the FDA that have been recalled: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/default.htm