One of the best ways to buy fruits and vegetables when they’re out of season is to hit the frozen food aisle at your local market. Unfortunately, if you buy your produce in that form, then this massive frozen vegetable recall probably affects you.

Yet again, a listeria outbreak in a food processing plant has caused a recall of frozen food, much of it organic. (Has anyone else noticed that these seem to be occurring a lot more frequently of late?)

What is listeria?

Listeria is a bacterium that causes an infection called listeriosis. It is most commonly contracted when a person eats food that has been contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.  Most at risk for illness are the elderly, pregnant women, babies, and those with a compromised immune system.

A healthy person who contracts listeria will be sick for a few days with symptoms like:

  • high fever
  • severe headache
  • stiffness
  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea

However in pregnant women, a listeria infection can result in stillbirth or miscarriage, and the baby can be born with the infection.

More serious cases can escalate to bacteremia and meningitis, sometimes resulting in death. Approximately 300 people per year die from a listeria infection.

Why does this keep happening?

If you’ve been paying attention lately, it seems like listeria has been in the news more often than ever before, and most of it is coming from “ready-to-eat” foods such as bagged lettuce and frozen food.

An article in Food Poison Journal explains why:

The prevalence of Listeria in ready-to-eat meats has not proven difficult to explain. [26, 29] As one expert in another much-cited article has noted:

The centralized production of prepared ready-to-eat food products…increases the risk of higher levels of contamination, since it requires that foods be stored for long periods at refrigerated temperatures that favour the growth of Listeria. During the preparation, transportation and storage of prepared foods, the organism can multiply to reach a threshold needed to cause infection.

It would be great if we could test products ourselves, but unfortunately, the price of a listeria test prevents that for basically everyone.

These fruits and vegetables have been recalled

In what seems to be a recurring nightmare for the packaged food industry, an absolutely massive recall has been announced for frozen fruits and vegetables. It seems that most of our fruits and vegetables are coming from one company: CRF Frozen Foods of Pasco, Washington. Where it can get confusing is that the company simply private labels the same food for many different companies, who then distribute it under their own banners.

This recall goes back to foods that were packaged as of May 1, 2014 to the present and includes:

  • organic and non-organic broccoli
  • butternut squash
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • corn
  • edamame
  • green beans
  • Italian beans
  • kale
  • leeks
  • lima beans
  • onions
  • peas
  • pepper strips
  • potatoes
  • potato medley
  • root medley
  • spinach
  • sweet potatoes
  • various vegetable medleys, blends, and stir fry packages
  • blueberries
  • cherries
  • cranberries
  • peaches
  • raspberries
  • strawberries

More than 40 brand names are affected.  It’s important to note that not every offering from these brands is being recalled. GO HERE to check the products in your freezer against the lot numbers and dates.

  1. Bybees
  2. Columbia River Organics
  3. Northwest Growers Select
  4. Organic by Nature
  5. CH Belt
  6. Chef Maxwell
  7. Correct Choice
  8. Earth’s Pride
  9. Emerald Farms
  10. Endico
  11. Farmer’s Bounty
  12. Fiesta Mart
  13. Great Value (WalMart’s house brand)
  14. The Inn
  15. James Farm
  16. JDFA
  17. Kirkland Signature
  18. Life Foods
  19. Live Smart
  20. McCain
  21. Mity Fresh
  22. Mountain Mist
  23. O Organic (Safeway’s organic line)
  24. Overhill Farms
  25. Panda Express
  26. Pantry Essentials
  27. Parade
  28. Price First
  29. Quirch
  30. Safeway Kitchens
  31. Season’s Choice
  32. Signature Kitchens
  33. Simply Nature
  34. Trader Joes
  35. True Goodness
  36. USDA
  37. Veggie Maria
  38. VIP
  39. Wellsley Farms
  40. Wild Oats
  41. Woolworth’s

Were you affected by this frozen vegetable recall?

A partial recall occurred on April 23. Operations ceased at the CRF facility on April 26. The full recall was announced on May 2. Today was the first I had heard of it. I had several of the affected foods in my freezers and will be returning them to the stores for a refund. Do you also have some of the recalled foods?

Article reposted with permission from The Organic Prepper

Pick up Daisy's new book The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months to help with your prepping needs.

Don't forget to Like Freedom Outpost on Facebook, Google Plus, & Twitter. You can also get Freedom Outpost delivered to your Amazon Kindle device here.