The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that Freshouse II LLC is recalling red potatoes, limes, oranges and lemons due to possible contamination with listeria monocytogenes. The Salisbury North Carolina-based company is recalling specific lots that came in contact with equipment that tested positive for listeria. Freshouse hopes that the recall will prevent foodborne illnesses.
Fresh Produce Recall due to Listeria
According to the FDA Company Announcement, Freshouse is recalling certain production lots of red potatoes, Valencia oranges, lemons, limes and organic limes. The fresh produce is distributed to warehouses in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania. It is also distributed to wholesalers in North Carolina and Maryland.
Consumers and retailers both should be aware of the products that are subject to this recall. The products subject to this recall include several brands and packaging methods.
For consumers, the products can be identified as the following:
- Freshouse Limes – 2 lb mesh bag, UPC 3338314683
- Natures Promise Organic Limes – 1 lb mesh bag, UPC 8826753813
- Fresh from the Start Red B Potatoes – 3 lb mesh bag, UPC 3338351003
- Fresh from the Start Lemons – 2 lb mesh bag, UPC 3338314020
- Wegmans Lemons – 2 lb mesh bag, UPC 7789015917
- Wegmans Valencia Oranges – 4 lb mesh bag, UPC 7789052363
For retailers, the products will be packaged in bulk, with the following information:
- Freshouse Limes – Lots 16444003, 16444603 and 16444703
- Natures Promise Organic Limes – Lot X0174375
- Fresh from the Start Red B Potatoes – Lots 16475401, 16453501 and 16475401
- Fresh from the Start Lemons – Lots 16453103 and 16415302
- Wegmans Lemons – Lot 16453103
- Wegmans Valencia Oranges – Lot 16415104
Wholesalers should carefully inspect 40 lb and 50 lb boxes of lemons, limes, oranges and red potatoes to be certain they are not further distributing the products in this recall.
What to Do with Produce Subject to a Recall
If you have any of these products in your home or retail establishment, the FDA urges you to not consume them. Consumers may return the produce to the place of purchase for a refund. Alternatively, the produce should be destroyed so that no one can consume it and potentially be exposed to listeria.
Consumers who have questions about the recall, or are not sure if their produce is included can learn more from Freshouse by visiting their recall website. The company is offering customer support Monday-Friday. Freshouse President, Jamey Friedman, says,
“We voluntarily issued this recall out of an abundance of caution with the steadfast intent to minimize even the slightest risk to public health.”
Information about Listeria
Listeria is a bacterium that is common in water and soil. It is also present in certain animals. It is a powerful bacterium that is resilient and can live in both anaerobic and aerobic conditions. Unlike other bacterium, listeria can multiply at refrigerator temperatures, meaning it can be a hazard to fresh produce.
The symptoms of listeria infection can begin a few days after exposure, but can also live dormant in the body for up to one month. That means that if you are exposed to listeria, you may not realize it until weeks later. If you are diagnosed with listeria, you should think carefully about what foods you eat and if they could be responsible.
Symptoms of Listeria Infection
Anyone who consumes food that has listeria monocytogenes in it can experience symptoms, such as:
- Body aches
- Abdominal pain
Healthy individuals generally recover from listeria infection without complications.
Who is Most at Risk?
Certain people are at a greater risk of serious infection. Serious listeria infections can cause complications and even death. Those most at risk include:
- Young children
- The elderly
- Frail adults
- People with weak immune systems
- Pregnant women
In pregnant women, listeria may also cause complications, including miscarriage and stillbirth.
Treating Listeria Infection
Like many other foodborne illnesses, treating listeria infection generally involves staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest. If the infection spreads, however, your doctor may prescribe you antibiotics to help flush out the infection.
Dehydration is the most common complication of listeria infection, and can be serious if not treated in a timely manner. If untreated, dehydration can cause heat injury, kidney problems, urinary problems, seizures and hypovolemic shock (low blood volume shock). Talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms of dehydration:
- Extreme thirst
- Less frequent urination
- Dark urine
Never underestimate even a seemingly mild foodborne illness. Any type of bacterium or virus can have a significant impact on your body and overall health.