Possible Listeria Contamination Prompts Vegetable Recall from Trader Joe's and Green Giant
The vegetables in question have been distributed to more than 25 states—and with current expiration dates, they may be in your fridge right now.
According to a voluntary recall notice posted by the Food and Drug Administration, multiple packages of butternut squash, cauliflower, zucchini, and heat-and-serve vegetable bowls are being recalled under the Green Giant and Trader Joe's labels, among others. Safety officials are asking shoppers to check these products due to possible contamination with listeria bacteria-according to manufacturer Growers Express, the packaged vegetables were produced in a facility in Biddeford, Maine, and were distributed to grocery stores across the country in upwards of 30 states. The company reports that it launched the recall after a sample of vegetables turned up positive for listeria bacteria in Massachusetts.
Nearly all recalled products are fresh and not frozen, and was sold in convenience areas of supermarkets. Green Giant's diced, cubed, and noodled butternut squash are among the items recalled, as well as a cauliflower fried rice product and ready-to-eat zucchini noodles. At Trader Joe's, zucchini spirals and butternut squash spirals are being pulled from shelves. The largest amount of products were distributed to states in the Northeast region, primarily in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and Pennsylvania, but "best if used by" dates on all products across the nation range between June 26 and June 29, 2019. For a full list of products being recalled and their expiration dates, you can view Growers Express' notice here.
"Listeria is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems," the FDA writes in their recall notice. In addition to these symptoms, consuming listeria bacteria may lead to fevers, headaches and migraines, abdominal pain and fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pregnant women are also at increased risk for miscarriages and stillbirths when exposed to listeria bacteria.
If you're unable to verify the best-by date on your vegetables or are unsure if your product is part of the recall, the FDA asks you to return them to a point of purchase for a full refund, or discard immediately. Per their recall notice, Growers Express is sanitizing their Maine manufacturing facility as well as the equipment involved, and are conducting additional safety tests for future products.