The FDA has issued a recall of several vegetable products grown and distributed by Growers Express—which are sold by several brands that include Trader Joe’s, Signature Farms, and Green Giant Express—over possible listeria contamination, the organization announced on July 1, 2019. As of now, there have been no reported illnesses associated with this recall, which was voluntarily issued by Growers Express.
The source of the contamination was traced back to a Growers Express facility in Biddeford, Maine, and the FDA notes that “most of the affected products are labeled with a 'Best If Used By' date of June 26 to June 29, 2019.” The affected products include cut and packaged vegetables such as cauliflower, diced butternut squash, and zucchini, and were distributed to retailers across multiple states.
At Trader Joe’s, the products were sold as Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Spirals and Zucchini Spirals. Other retailers sold them under the aforementioned distributor brands—chiefly, Signature Farms and Green Giant Express.
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium responsible for listeriosis food poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most healthy, adult individuals who contract listeria typically only suffer short term symptoms including “high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea,” the risk for infants and young children. However, the elderly, and anyone with a compromised immune system, are at a much greater risk, with the possibility of the infection becoming fatal. (Currently, there are approximately 260 fatalities from listeria-related food poisoning in the U.S. each year.)
The FDA urges consumers to check their recently purchased produce for those “Best If Used By” dates, and notes that no Green Giant canned or frozen vegetables are part of this recall. If you find any products that you believe to be part of this recall, either at home or on grocery store shelves, make sure that they are disposed of. If you did purchase any items related to the recall, you can contact Grower’s Express for a full refund.