Green Valley Recalls More Sprout Products For Possible Listeria

Green Valley Food Corp. is recalling approximately 35,159 cases of a variety of products because they have the potential to be contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes pathogen, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced. Random samples tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. This is an expansion to prior recalls on which we have previously written and which involved the Salmonella pathogen.

Any customer who received any of the products from December 7, 2011 through January 1, 2012, which are involved in this recall and/or if the items bear a use by date ranging from December 22, 2011 through January 17, 2012 are urged to discard the items and not consume the potentially contaminated sprouts. The recalled sprouts were distributed by truck delivery to all customers in Texas.

The original recalls for Green Valley Food sprouts were initiated on December 23 and 24, 2011. Additional items are now being added. The complete list of recalled items is:

“Let’s Grow Healthy Together!”
• Alfalfa Sprouts: 5-ounce plastic 2-piece containers, UPC 714722228818.
• Spicy Sprouts: 5-ounce plastic 2-piece containers, UPC 714722229914.
• Clover Sprouts: 5-ounce plastic 2-piece containers, UPC 714722225510.
• Onion Sprouts: 2-ounce plastic 2-piece containers, UPC 714722227712.
• Sunflower Greens: 5-ounce plastic 2-piece containers, UPC 714722206069.
• Zesty Sprouts: 5-ounce plastic 2-piece containers, UPC number 714722221116.
• Organic Wheat Grass: 6-ounce plastic 2-piece containers, UPC 714722608122.
• Mung Bean Sprouts: 8-ounce red polypropylene bag, UPC 815098001071.
• Mung Bean Sprouts: 16-ounce clear polypropylene bag with a green label, UPC 714722208162.

Green Valley Food Corporation: Plastic Security Sealed Clamshell Containers
• Alfalfa Sprouts: 4-ounce, UPC 815098001088.
• Onion Sprouts: 4-ounce, UPC 815098002054.
• Spicy Sprouts: 4-ounce, UPC 815098002023.
• Snow Pea Shoots: 3-ounce, UPC 714722106062.
• Organic Wheatgrass: 4-ounce, UPC 714722608122.
• Daikon Sprouts: 3-ounce, UPC 714722206076.

Broccosprouts: 4-Ounce Plastic Security Sealed Clamshell Containers
• Sandwich Blend: UPC 815098000289.
• Salad Blend: UPC 815098000265.
• Deli Blend: UPC 815098000272.
• Broccoli Sprouts: UPC number 815098000258

A random sample, taken from a customer on the supply chain on December 12, 2011, tested positive for Salmonella. Customers were retail chains and food distribution centers. Green Valley was advised of the positive result on December 23 and 24, 2011. On December 21, 2011, random samples were taken at the Green Valley facility; several samples had a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes. In response, Green Valley issued the expanded recall.

To date, no reports of illness related to this recall have been received, although it can take some time from ingestion of a tainted product for manifestation of illness to occur, especially with Listeria-contaminated products because the incubation period for this pathogen can be as long as 70 days.

Green Valley can be reached at 1.214.939.3900, Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, or via email at Direct customers affected by this recall will be receiving a letter asking for the quantities shipped and their whereabouts. Consumers who purchased these product at local grocery stores should dispose of the products immediately in a trash receptacle.

Sprouts are a known source of food borne illness and, because sprouts are often eaten raw with no additional treatment, such as cooking, which eliminates bacteria, washing sprouts does not necessarily remove the bacteria that grows within the sprouts and cannot be washed away. Over the past 15 years, at least 30 outbreaks of food poisoning have been linked to eating raw or lightly cooked sprouts, said the FDA; most outbreaks were caused by Salmonella and E. coli.

The Listeria monocytogenes pathogen can lead to the listeriosis infection, which is potentially fatal and can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, and nausea, especially in those with weakened immune systems, infants, and the elderly. Vulnerable populations, such as the developing fetus, can suffer serious central nervous system problems. The infection can prompt premature births, or the death of the fetus via miscarriages and stillbirths. Pregnant women are 20 times likelier to become infected. Listeriosis can also lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and can lead to neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.

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