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Listeria outbreak strikes frozen foods: 47 MILLION pounds recalled; be careful what you consume

Listeria outbreak

(NaturalNews) A slew of both organic and conventional frozen foods have been recalled, including 358 consumer products sold under 42 separate brands, due to fears of potential listeria contamination.

In addition, the recall of 47 million pounds of meat and poultry sold at several different grocery stores, has provoked concern that a pandemic spurred by food-borne illnesses could be on the horizon.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture originally found listeria in CRF products at a random product sampling in April. In the wake of that discovery, at least eight illnesses and two deaths have been associated with CRF products, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The products are sold in all 50 states and in Canada.

Listeria is a genus of bacteria that can trigger listeriosis, a serious infection usually caused by eating food containing the contaminant. People with compromised immune systems, including the elderly and pregnant women, are particularly vulnerable to listeriosis. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions.

CRF Frozen Foods and Ajinomoto Windsor Inc are the two companies whose products have been recalled, and these are distributed throughout the country. Products with a "best by" or "sell by" date between April 26, 2016 and April 26, 2018 are potentially tainted, according to the recall.

No significant changes in the occurrence of listeriosis were noted between 2006 and 2008 or between 2012 and 2013, reports the CDC, which claims that the incidence of listeriosis dropped by nearly 42 percent the decade before.

Terri Gerhardt, chief of food safety at the Ohio agriculture department, told sources:

"One reason why people seem to think we're finding more (Listeria) is that the FDA is trying to standardize food manufacturing inspection programs among all the states," Gerhardt said. "When you have more set of eyes collecting and running samples, you're going to find more things. But I don't think there is any increase in the incidence of the organism out there, it's just that we're doing more testing."

You can view the recall list for fruits and vegetables posted on the FDA's website here, and the recall list for meat and poultry products at Food Safety News here.

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