Listeria, E. Coli Prompt Food Recalls

The Food & drug Administration (FDA) yesterday announced two food recalls, one for possible <"">E. coli contamination and the other for possible <"">Listeria contamination.

Orval Kent Foods is voluntarily recalling about 23,000 pounds of Amish Macaroni Salad in response to the results of a test conducted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Food Safety, for E. coli O157:H7.

Amish Macaroni Salad with the following UPC codes and associated Use By dates are involved in the recall and were shipped to customers with distribution to retail and food service establishments in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.  Consumers are urged to return all unopened containers to their place of purchase for a full refund.  Consumers with any questions may contact Orval Kent at 1-800-544-1246:

Orval Kent Amish Macaroni Salad:  5-pound container; Use By 6/12/08; UPC 7945368281.

Yoder’s Amish Macaroni Salad with Use By date of 6/7/08:  1-pound container and UPC 7347468281; 2-pound container and UPC 7347401045; and 5-pound container with UPC 7347488729.

Also, Supreme Cuts, LLC is voluntarily recalling 87 cases of Off the Cob Fresh Kernel Corn in 12-ounce bags.  The product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and is being recalled as a precautionary measure.  Off the Cob Fresh Kernel Corn comes in a 12-ounce clear plastic bag marked with a “best if used by” date of May 26, 2008 and lot # 5343.  Although package instructions call for cooking this raw corn product and thorough cooking would be an effective control of Listeria monocytogenes contamination, consumers are urged to dispose of the Off the Cob Fresh Kernel Corn product to avoid undercooking or contamination of other foods.

Off the Cob Fresh Kernel Corn was distributed to a small number of stores in New Jersey and Massachusetts.  A sample containing Listeria monocytogenes was discovered during standard company testing procedures.  Production of Off the Cob Fresh Cut Corn has been suspended while Supreme Cuts investigates the source of the problem.  Any consumers who may still have “Off the Cob” with a “best if used by” date of May 26 should dispose of the product.  Consumers with questions can contact Lucy Rosen at 516-222-0236.

Escherichia coli is a relatively common bacteria found in the human digestive tract and is normally harmless; however, some strains, including those linked to food poisoning, are serious and can cause fatal blood poisoning, cystitis, and deadly septicemia.  In the United States, E. coli is the leading cause of food-borne illness.  About 73,000 people are infected and 61 people die from it E. coli each year.  And, last year alone, over 22 million pounds of beef and vegetables were recalled due to E. coli outbreaks.

Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning generated by the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria and is dangerous to the elderly, pregnant women, newborns, those with chronic medical conditions, people with HIV, or those undergoing chemotherapy.  Most experience mild flu like symptoms—fever, muscle aches, nausea, or diarrhea.  In serious cases, the disease spreads to the nervous system, causing headaches, stiff neck, and convulsions.  In pregnant women, Listeriosis can result in miscarriage or stillbirth.

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