Café Favorites Sandwiches Recalled for Listeria

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a recall announcement about Café Favorites Whole Grain 5″ Super Sub sandwiches.  The products could be contaminated with the <"">Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.  The contamination was discovered after a routine FDA inspection.

The sandwiches affected contain a daycode starting with 08343XXX  and the product code 02384.  The recalled sandwiches were packaged in 5.4-ounce portions with 84 sandwiches to the case and were sold to distributors in Maryland, Florida, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

The distributors in Florida, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania did not further distribute the product said the FDA, but the Maryland distributor sold the product to one school in the Washington DC area where it was served.  Students and staff are advised by the FDA to dispose of these sandwiches if they took them home and anyone experiencing symptoms should consult their doctor.  Consumers with question may contact the Café Favorites at 218-685-6500 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm central time.

The listeria bacterium is found in soil, vegetation, raw milk, meat, poultry, cheeses (particularly soft mold-ripened varieties), and salad vegetables.  About 2,500 cases of listeria occur in the United States annually with about 200 in every 1000 cases resulting in death.  Listeria monocytogenes can grow at low temperatures, even in refrigerated environments; thorough cooking of food and milk pasteurization can destroy the Listeria bacteria.  Listeria often invades the body through a normal and intact gastrointestinal tract and, once in the body, can travel through the blood stream.

Listeriosis—the illness caused by the listeria bacteria—symptoms can develop in days or weeks and can vary from a mild flu-like illness to meningitis and septicemia; pregnant women can experience anything from miscarriage, still birth, or birth of an infected child.  Pregnant women are about 20 times likelier than others to be infected, with about one-third of listeriosis cases occurring during pregnancy; the incidence of listeriosis in newborns is 8.6 per 100,000 live births and the perinatal and neonatal mortality rate (stillbirths and early infant deaths) is 80 percent.  Those with compromised immune systems—such as people undergoing chemotherapy treatment or those diagnosed with HIV/AIDs and hepatitis—the very young, and the very old are also at risk.  Healthy individuals may suffer short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

To help prevent listeria contamination, consumers are generally advised to thoroughly cook raw food from animal sources; keep uncooked meats separate from vegetables and from cooked and ready-to-eat foods; avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk or foods made from unpasteurized milk; wash hands, knives, and cutting boards after handling uncooked foods; wash raw vegetables thoroughly before eating; and consume perishable and ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible and within their expiration dates.

Most recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the recall of two Patrick Cudahy bacon bit products over possible contamination with the listeria monocytogenes bacteria, which was discovered through in-house testing conducted by an establishment that received the product.

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