Listeria Infections Lead to Larger Recall at Safeway, Costco

CRF Frozen Foods said late Monday it had vastly expanded a voluntary recall of frozen fruits and vegetables, many of which are sold at top grocers like Costco Wholesale (COST), Trader Joe’s and Safeway (SWY) after seven people were stricken with Listeria infections.

The expansion means that now 358 consumer products sold under 42 separate brands are now being recalled, up from an initial recall last month of 15 frozen vegetable items. The affected brands include Trader Joe’s, Emerald Farms, Safeway Kitchens and Parade. The products include organic and non-organic broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, blueberries, peaches, raspberries and strawberries. For a full list of affected brands, please visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration web site.

Listeria can cause sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with compromised immune systems. Listeria can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, according to the FDA.

“We apologize for any concern or inconvenience this expanded recall has caused our customers and consumers who enjoy our products,” CRF said in its recall notice.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found seven people from three states became ill and were hospitalized due to Listeria. Two of those people later died, but that Listeria was not found to be the cause of death in either person.

The recall comes at a time of heightened concern about food safety. Chipotle Mexican Grill’s (COG) has seen sales decimated after an E.Coli outbreak connected to its restaurants last year. And everyone from Starbucks to Costco has had to deal with food recalls.

In its recall notice, CRF said the recall includes frozen and traditional fruit and vegetable made or processed at its Pasco, Washington plant since May 1, 2014. All affected products in the CRF recall have the best by dates or sell by dates between April 26, 2016 and April 26, 2018.

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