When shopping for groceries this week, you’ll want to be extra-careful—per recent food-safety warnings issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), two separate recalls are currently in effect. Though no resulting illnesses have been reported as of this writing, the FDA is advising consumers to throw away or return all affected products for a full refund.
First up, look out for some varieties of baby spinach and mesclun leafy greens from Satur Farms, of Cutchogue, New York. On Jan. 23, 2019, Satur Farms voluntarily recalled specific lot numbers of these greens because of possible Salmonella contamination. This was identified after routine product sampling performed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and New York Department of Agriculture, the two states in which the items were distributed to retailers. You'll want to keep an eye out for the following batches: Spinach Lot #18494, Spinach Lot #18513, and Mesclun Lot #18520.
The affected retail products have been packaged in plastic clamshell containers labeled with the Satur Farms brand name, in 5-ounce, 10-ounce, and 16-ounce sizes. The food-service versions of these products are packed in sealed poly bags of various sizes (more information on those sizes can be found here). Satur Farms has instructed all consumers of these products to return them to their place of purchase for a full refund; wholesalers and retailers have been advised to discontinue selling their remaining stock of the items until further notice.
In response to this recall from Satur Farms, Whole Foods Market is, in turn, voluntarily recalling several prepared food items containing baby spinach because of related possible salmonella contamination. The affected products—which include pizza, sandwiches, wraps, and salads—were sold at stores in the following states: Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Florida.
These have all been marked with a Whole Foods Market scale label throughout stores in the impacted regions, and additional identifying information on them can be found in the charts here. Whole Foods also advises consumers to discard (or return for a full refund, with a valid receipt) any items containing baby spinach from the market’s hot bars or salad bars, in the states listed above.
According to the FDA website: “Symptoms start within 12 hours to 3 days after a person ingests salmonella. Symptoms of salmonellosis in people include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Most people recover from salmonellosis in 4 to 7 days without treatment.” However, the strain is more dangerous when introduced to those with weakened immune systems, such as young children and the elderly.
And unfortunately, that's not all in this week's recall-related news. The FDA has also reported that Jac. Vandenberg, Inc. of Yonkers, New York, has recalled almost 2,000 cartons of fresh peaches, more than 1,200 cartons of fresh nectarines, and almost 400 cartons of fresh plums, due to potential contamination with the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.
The affected products were distributed through select retailers—including ALDI, Walmart, Fairway Market, and Costco—in Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Virginia.
The potentially contaminated peaches and nectarines are sold as bulk produce items with a PLU sticker (PLU# 4044, 3035, 4378) with the country of origin listed as Chile. Specifically at ALDI, the peaches, nectarines, and plums are packaged and sold in 2-pound bags from the brand Rio Duero, identified with EAN# 7804650090281, 7804650090298, and 7804650090304. Last, the nectarines sold at Costco are sold in 4-pound plastic clamshell packages, also from the brand Rio Duero, EAN# 7804650090212.
While the FDA and Jac. Vandenberg, Inc. continue to investigate this contamination, the company has stopped all production and distribution of the product. Both organizations also urge consumers who have purchased any of the affected products to dispose or return the items to their place of purchase for a full refund.
Per the FDA, a listeria infection “can cause gastroenteritis—mainly diarrhea—accompanied by a fever. Other symptoms may include vomiting, joint pain, headache, and body pain. The illness is usually mild and goes away on its own… and can last up to 5 days. The elderly and people with weakened immune systems have a higher risk of getting a more severe form of listeriosis.”
For more information about the salmonella and listeria outbreaks, up-to-date details on affected products, and other food-recall news, visit the FDA’s website here.