Learn innovative ways to mitigate the threat of Listeria at the Listeria Detection & Control Workshop | May 31–June 1, 2016 | St. Paul, MN | LEARN MORE–UPDATE–May 5, 2016–The CDC has reported that eight people have been infected with Listeria from three states from September 2013 to March 2016. According to an FDA release, whole genome sequencing conducted from a routine product sampling program by the Ohio Department of Agriculture revealed Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) from frozen corn and that it was closely related genetically to seven bacterial isolates from those sickened. It found a similar result from frozen peas, with an Lm isolate closely related genetically to one isolate from one person. “This close genetic relationship provides additional evidence that the people in this outbreak became ill from eating frozen vegetables produced by CRF Frozen Foods,” the release stated.
In March FDA collected environmental samples from Oregon Potato Company (also located in Pasco, WA), which were found to be closely related genetically to seven isolates of sickened people linked to the outbreak. As a result Oregon Potato voluntarily recalled its wholesale onion products. “FDA is working to identify other parts of the relevant supply chain that may have product relating to this outbreak. However, FDA is prohibited by law from releasing publicly certain information about supply chains, which may constitute confidential commercial information,” according to the release.
The agency is trying to determine whether there is a connection between product sample isolates and environmental samples taken. FDA called it a “complex and ongoing investigation”.
Pasco, Washington-based CRF Frozen Foods has expanded a nationwide voluntary recall of its frozen fruits and vegetables over concerns that the products may be contaminated with Listeria. The recall, which also includes products sold in Canada, encompasses more than 358 consumer products sold under 42 different brands of frozen organic and traditional fruit and vegetable products that were manufactured or processed in CRF’s facility since May 2014. Seven people from at least three states have been sickened and hospitalized due to Listeria. According to an announcement on FDA’s website, “Some of these illnesses have been linked to consuming CRF-manufactured or processed products. CDC also informed us that, sadly, two of these individuals later died, but that Listeria was not the cause of death in either person.”
CRF suspended operations at its facility in Pasco, Washington on April 25 (following the first voluntary recall) and all affected retailers have been notified.
According to the FDA announcement:
“Products include 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, and strawberries.”
The full list is available on FDA’s website.