Three More Recalls Linked to Listeria Tainted Onions

Listeria-tainted onions are prompting even more recalls, according to announcements made by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). When available, the retail distribution list will be posted on FSIS’ website and on the FDA web site.

Earlier this week, we wrote that the FDA and the FSIS announced recalls implemented by GH Foods CA, LLC; Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.; LSG Sky Chefs (Orlando, Florida); and Huxtable’s Kitchen (Vernon, California). Yesterday, we wrote that the FDA announced more recalls implemented by Ken’s Foods, Publix Super Markets, Garden-Fresh Foods, and Spartan Stores (Grand Rapids, Michigan). Those recalls, and the following three, were initiated over recalls made by Gills Onions, LLC of Oxnard, California that were prompted by concerns its onion products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Garden Fresh Foods (FSIS Class I Designation)
In its second recall announced this week, Garden Fresh Foods is now recalling about 13,600 pounds of meat and chicken salad products in four-, five-, eight-, and twelve-pound packages that contain Gills Onions’ diced onions. A complete detailed list of the recalled Garden Fresh products can be accessed on the FSIS web site. These recalled products were produced July 10-16, 2012 and bear the establishment number “P-17256” or “Est. 17256” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The lot number is ink-jetted on the package and indicates the product’s expiration date (lot number “081912xx” represents an August 19, 2012 expiration date). The products were distributed to retailers and institutions nationwide. Richard Riebel, Counsel for Garden Fresh Foods, can be reached at 1.414.278.8500.

Garden Fresh Foods (FDA Notification)
Garden-Fresh Foods also announced a recall through the FDA over an array of its ready-to-eat salads, slaw, salsa, bean, and dip products sold under various brands and code dates, that contain Gills Onions products. The complete, updated list can be accessed here. The products are sold in various size containers, from eight-ounce to eight-pound packages and were distributed to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Arizona, California, and to retail stores and food services. Consumers in possession of any of these recalled products are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Garden Fresh Foods may be reached, toll-free, at 1.800.645.3367, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

San Miguel Produce, Inc., Oxnard, California (FDA Notification)
San Miguel Produce, Inc. is recalling 48 cases of Cut ‘N Clean, Comfort (Cooking) Greens Kits, because these products contain onions from Gills Onions. This product was distributed July 13-17, 2012 to retail stores in Arizona, California, Iowa, and Nevada and sold as a 24-ounce clamshell (plastic container with lid) cooking greens kit. The UPC number 028764000616 is located on the back label of the product. The product is also identifiable by its run number and best used by dates, which can be found on the lid of the container, under the product label and include: 20260-07/25/12, 20260-07/26/12, 20340-07/27/12, 20437-07/30/12, 20546-08/02/12, 20651-08/03/12, 20756-08/06/12, 20756-08/07/12. San Miguel can be reached, toll-free, at 1.888.347.3364, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to  5:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time (PST).

In all cases, consumers in possession of the recalled products should not consume the food and should destroy or discard the potentially contaminated products. Gills Onions Customer Service can be reached, toll-free, at 888-220-0436. The firm’s web site should be updated with recall information and can be accessed at

Although no illnesses have been reported in connection with these onions, 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, which can extend the life of the produce. Listeria also has an unusually long incubation period—up to 70 days, according to experts—and also 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.

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