phone

312-981-0409

180 N. La Salle Street, Suite 3700, Chicago, IL 60601

Frozen Vegetables Causing Listeria Outbreaks

Posted on in Listeria

Frozen Vegetables Causing Listeria OutbreaksListeria is a relatively rare yet potentially fatal form of food poisoning caused by bacteria in food. On average, about one in six people who contract listeria die from the symptoms. Listeria is often associated with foods such as:

  • Raw milk;
  • Soft cheese;
  • Deli meats;
  • Raw hot dogs;
  • Raw spouts; and
  • Smoked seafood.

However, there have been multiple incidents in recent years when listeria has been found in frozen vegetable packages.

Recent Outbreaks

Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods recently recalled its Signature Select Avocado Chunks because of potential listeria contamination. The product was sold in nine different store brands in 15 states, mostly in the western half of the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control previously investigated a listeria outbreak that started in 2013 and forced CRC Frozen Foods to recall all of its organic and frozen vegetables and fruits. Nine people were hospitalized and three of them died, though only one person was believed to have died from listeria. In 2018, nine people in Europe died from a listeria outbreak that was traced to a frozen vegetable brand distributed in 107 countries.

Why Frozen Vegetables?

Listeria monocytogenes are commonly found in soil and water, allowing the bacteria to contaminate vegetables and animals. Once the bacteria has contaminated a food processing facility, it can survive for years and continue to contaminate foods produced in the facility. Listeria is unusual amongst food bacteria because it can survive and spread in cold temperatures. Contaminated frozen vegetables can be dangerous because:

  • The listeria could spread to other items in a freezer; and
  • People may store frozen vegetables for long periods.

Protection

The Food and Drug Administration has several suggestions for lessening the risk of contracting listeria from foods:

  • Set the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit and the refrigerator at 40 degrees;
  • Keep thermometers in the refrigerator and freezer to watch the temperature;
  • Wrap or bag foods in the refrigerator to prevent juices from dripping; and
  • Eat pre-cooked meals as soon as possible.

Contact an Illinois Food Poisoning Attorney

Common symptoms of listeria include diarrhea and fever, but the bacteria can spread beyond the stomach in some cases, causing:

  • Muscle aches;
  • Headaches;
  • Stiff neck;
  • Convulsion;
  • Loss of balance; and
  • Mental confusion.

The symptoms can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women and life-threatening for their unborn children. You should immediately contact Newland & Newland, LLP, if a doctor confirms you were infected with listeria. Our Chicago food poisoning lawyers can help you determine the source of the contamination and whether the producer of that food can be held liable. Schedule a consultation by calling 312-981-0409.

Source:

https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/natures-touch-frozen-foods-west-inc-voluntarily-recalls-signature-select-avocado-chunks-due

https://www.romper.com/p/how-does-listeria-get-into-frozen-vegetables-it-can-usually-be-traced-back-to-animals-10863

isba itla nwsba
Back to Top