Onions, Onion Dip Recalled for Possible Listeria

Onions and Onion dip have been recalled for potential contamination with the dangerous Listeria pathogen, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) just announced. Consumers are advised to dispose of, and not consume, any of the recalled products.

No illnesses have been linked to these recalls; however, as we’ve long explained, the Listeria pathogen is unique because it tends to thrive in colder temperatures, such as those found in refrigerated environments. Listeria also has an unusually long incubation period—up to 70 days, according to experts—and well tolerates heat and dry temperatures, adding further challenges to the pathogen’s eradication and length to expected reporting time frames.

Listeria monocytogenes can lead to the listeriosis infection, a potentially fatal disorder 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. The infection can also prompt premature births, or the death of the fetus via miscarriage and stillbirth; pregnant women are 20 times likelier to become infected. Listeriosis can lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and to neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.

Gills Onions, LLC, Oxnard, California.
The July 18 recall has been expanded to now include additional products and includes diced, slivered, and whole peeled onions and diced onion/celery mix with use-by-dates on or before August 3. The recalled products were shipped directly from Gills Onions to retailers in Canada, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

Gills Onions and the FDA have been conducting concurrent investigations into the possible cause of contamination; Listeria was found in the facility in which the July 18 recalled product was processed and this facility has been out of service since July 17, pending the investigations’ outcome and mitigation efforts. None of the products included in the expanded recall has tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

Gills Onions has been working with state and federal health officials and is notifying all customers who received the recalled product directly from the company and requesting they remove it from commerce. Gills Onions is asking its direct customers to notify their customers about the recall. Steve Gill, Gills Onions’ president, also said, “We’ve identified the problem, and we are taking aggressive actions to prevent this from happening again. These initial actions include the formulation of a panel of food safety experts and microbiologists with expertise in Listeria control, an expansion of the required microbial surveillance and sanitation programs, and continued testing.”

Gills Onions can be reached, toll-free, at 1.888.220.0436, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), or at its web site at www.gillsonions.com. Specific product details can be accessed at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm313399.htm

Sartori Inspirations, LLC
Sartori Inspirations, LLC, is recalling some of its Ciolo branded items made exclusively for Whole Foods Market. The items may contain onions from Gills Onions, which may be contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes; Gills Onions supplies onions to Sartori Inspirations. The Gills Onions recall was initiated when it was notified by the FDA that a random sample of its diced yellow onions taken at retail tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

The products included in this recall include tapenades, goudas, cheeses, and salsas packaged in seven-ounce clear plastic containers and five-pound white plastic tubs. Code identification represents all product affected by this recall and can be accessed at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm313398.htm.

On Friday, July 20th, Sartori Inspirations, LLC, notified Whole Foods Market to request immediate withdrawal of potentially affected Ciolo branded items. Some or all of the recall items were distributed to Whole Foods Market stores in Colorado, Texas, Connecticut, Washington, and Maryland. Consumers are advised to return the recalled products to Whole Foods Market for a full refund. Sartori Inspirations may be reached at 1.920.449.7801 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Central Standard Time (CST).

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