What is Listeria and Why Worry? Listeria monocytogenes is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Listeria Hummus: On April 8, 2015, Sabra Dipping Co., LLC announced that it was recalling approximately 30,000 cases of its Classic Hummus due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The recall was limited to five SKUs of Classic Hummus sold nationwide.
The products being recalled were distributed to retail outlets, including food service accounts and supermarkets, in the U.S. Consumers can find code and use by dates on the top of each package. The potential for contamination was discovered when a routine, random sample collected at a retail location on March 30th, 2015 by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.
To date, there have been no reports indicating that these products have caused any illness.
Listeria Ice Cream: On March 23, 2015, Blue Bell Ice Cream recalled 10 frozen snack items because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The FDA found Listeria bacteria in samples of Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Country Cookies, Great Divide Bars and individually packaged SCOOPS. Seven other products made on the same production line were also recalled: individually packaged Sour Pop Green Apple Bar, Cotton Candy Bar, Almond Bar and Vanilla Stick Slices and 6 pk Cotton Candy Bars, 6 pk Sour Pop Green Apple Bars and 12 pk NSA Mooo Bars.
Also on March 23, 2015, Blue Bell Ice Cream recalled three 3 oz. institutional/food service ice cream cups- chocolate, strawberry and vanilla with tab lids because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. On March 22, the Kansas Department of Health & Environment reported one positive test for Listeria monocytogenes on a chocolate institutional/food service cup recovered from a hospital in Wichita, Kan. This cup was produced in the Broken Arrow, Okla., plant on April 15, 2014. These cups are not sold thru retail outlets such as convenience stores and supermarkets.
On April 3, 2015, Blue Bell Creameries suspended operations at its Broken Arrow, Okla., plant to thoroughly inspect the facility due to a 3oz. institutional/food service chocolate cup that tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes and was immediately withdrawn from all outlets. That product was only available to Blue Bell’s food service and institutional accounts and was recalled along with 3oz. vanilla and strawberry institutional/food service cups. On April 4, 2015, Blue Bell began working with retail outlets to remove all products produced in Broken Arrow, Okla., from their service area. These products are identified with a code date ending in O, P, Q, R, S or T located on the bottom of the carton and they are a part of the market withdrawal. On April 7, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified Blue Bell that the Banana Pudding Ice Cream pint tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. This pint was produced in the Broken Arrow, Okla., plant on February 12, 2015. Subsequently Blue Bell recalled all products made on that one particular production line, from February 12, 2015 – March 27, 2015. These products were produced on that same line and have a code date ending in either S or T.
To date, there have been eight reports indicating these products have caused illness and contributed to three deaths.