Listeria Prompts Publix To Recall Spinach Dip

Publix Super Markets just announced a recall for spinach dip over concerns the product might be contaminated with the dangerous foodborne pathogen, <"">Listeria monocytogenes. The potential contamination was revealed as a result of routine microbial testing conducted by Publix.

This recall involves 16-ounce containers of prepackaged spinach dip sold at Publix retail deli departments in Publix grocery stores in Florida. The package contains a UPC of 41415-00062 and use by date of OCT 10 C1, said Publix. The following counties in Florida did not receive recalled product: Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee. Also, Publix stores in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee are not involved with this recall.

Publix media and community relations director, Maria Brous, announced that “Consumers who have purchased the products in question may return the product to their local store for a full refund. Publix customers with additional questions may call our Consumer Relations department at 1.800.242.1227 or by visiting our website at” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can also be reached, toll-free, at 1.888.SAFEFOOD (1.888.723.3366).

The Listeria monocytogenes pathogen can lead to the Listeriosis infection, which is a potentially fatal infection that 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 and 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 prompt neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.

Of note, although no illnesses have been reported, to date, in connection with this recall, the Listeria pathogen can take up to two months to manifest with symptoms. Also, Listeria can live, even thrive, in refrigerated conditions, further broadening an outbreak’s timeline.

We’ve also been following another Listeria recall involving Rocky Ford-region brand whole cantaloupes produced by Jensen Farms; involving four Listeria strains; and linked to a potential 60 illnesses and 10 deaths in 15 states. Sadly, these figures are expected to rise.

Meanwhile, 300,000 cases of whole cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms were shipped between July 29th and September 10th, 2011 to 25 states in what is now considered to be the deadliest food borne illness outbreak in the U.S. since 9 people died in 2008 and 2009 due to Salmonella infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In this case, one lawsuit has been filed and more are expected.

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