A major recall of fresh, minimally processed vegetables and vegetable medleys from stores shelves across the United States and Canada has reignited public awareness of the dangers of listeriosis food poisoning, a dangerous bacterial infection that can cause meningitis, brain infection / encephalitis, brain damage, septicemia, and pneumonia in adults. This disease is of particular danger to pregnant women and their babies, since it also can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, or conditions like hydrocephalus and cervical cord compression in newborns. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant women are 10 times more likely to contract listeriosis than other people.
“An estimated 1,600 people get listeriosis each year, and about 260 die.”Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Mann Vegetable Recall Involves Products Sold at Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Target, Other Stores
Mann Packing, headquartered in Salinas, California, announced the recall of multiple vegetable products after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found a single positive result for the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria during a random sampling. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reports that no illnesses have been associated with the vegetables affected by the recall thus far.
The vegetable products, all marked with “Best By” dates between October 11 and October 20, were distributed widely throughout the U.S. and Canada, either carrying various “Mann’s” labels or being rebranded for distribution by Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Target, HEB, and other stores. A complete list of the recalled vegetable products, brands, and their UPC codes can be found at the FDA website. Vegetable products may contain any of the following: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, Brussels sprouts, kale, butternut squash, kohlrabi. Many of the recalled products are vegetable blends.
The seriousness of this recall is such that it has prompted at least 10 secondary recalls by individual grocery stores and distributors who either rebranded and sold the original vegetable products or else used them to produce in-store items like soups and deli salads. These trickle-down recalls are listed on the FDA website, categorized as “Listeria Monocytogenes, Mann2017.”
Recent Listeriosis Outbreaks
People can contract listeriosis when they eat foods contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria – common foods that harbor the infection include vegetables, unpasteurized milk, ice cream soft cheeses, smoked fish, and both raw and ready-to-eat meat and poultry products. Those most susceptible to infection are pregnant women, babies, senior citizens, and those with underlying diseases (like diabetes) or otherwise compromised immune systems. The bacteria is remarkably hardy, and can survive refrigeration, freezing, drying, and even some heat processing.
We hope that Mann’s immediate recall of thousands of pounds of vegetables, vegetable medleys, and snack trays prevents anyone from getting sick. Because when listeriosis outbreaks occur, they can be deadly:
- March 2017: Vulto Creamery Raw Milk Cheese sickened 8 people, two of whom died; a baby was subsequently born with listeriosis.
- September 13, 2013 – March 2016: Frozen vegetable products distributed by CRF Frozen Foods, in Pasco, Washington, caused a nationwide outbreak that infected at least 8 individuals.
- 2015: Dole Packaged Salads infected 19 people across 9 states with listeriosis.
- 2015: 10 people across 4 states contracted listeria food poisoning from Blue Bell Ice Cream.
- 2010 – 2015: Soft cheese products distributed by Karoun Dairies, Inc. made 24 people sick in 9 states; one pregnant woman lost her baby and another adult died.
- October 17, 2017 – January 6, 2015: Multiple brands of caramel apples caused a 12-state outbreak, sickening 35 people. 11 cases were associated with a pregnancy; 3 children and many elderly people developed meningitis.
- 2014: 2 people were hospitalized, and a third person died, from listeriosis contracted from Miller’s Organic Farm Raw Milk.
- 2014: Wholesome Soy Products, Inc.’s mung bean sprouts sickened 5 people in Illinois and Michigan, killing two.
- 2013-2014: Quesito casero cheese manufactured by Oasis Brands, Inc. made 5 people ill in 4 states.
- 2012: Imported Frescolina Marte Brand Ricotta Salata Cheese infected 22 people across 13 states and the District of Columbia, killing 4 and resulting in one miscarriage.
- 2011: Cantaloupes from Jensen Farms, Colorado contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes sickened 147 people across 28 states, killing 33 people.
Although no illnesses have been reported as arising from the vegetable products distributed by Mann’s, it is possible that people who bought and froze these vegetables may still contract listeriosis should they consume them. Symptoms of this dangerous form of food poisoning include fever, neck stiffness, severe headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, diarrhea, loss of balance, convulsions, and abdominal pain and may present up to 70 days after one has eaten food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
Legal Relief for Listeria Food Poisoning
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with listeriosis and this is connected to a particular outbreak, you are entitled to legal compensation including medical expenses, after care, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The food manufacturers, distributors, and sellers who provide contaminated food to the public need to be held accountable for their negligence. Fred Pritzker and our legal team have won major settlements for food poisoning victims, including a $4.5 million settlement for a man who contracted Listeria meningitis and a $3 million settlement for a pregnant woman who lost her unborn twins after contracting a foodborne illness. Contact our Listeria lawyers for a free consultation about a Listeria lawsuit.