October 2, 2012
Bagged Popcorn Recalled Due To Listeria Concerns
Connie K. Ho for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Clearly, popcorn is a tasty treat enjoyed by many people. However, popcorn lovers might want to be wary of popcorn sold by Dale and Thomas and Popcorn Indiana. The company, which specializes in gourmet popcorn, has voluntarily recalled a number of flavors as a result of possible listeria contamination.CBS News recently reported that customers are requested to return the Popcorn Indiana products for a refund or to throw the popcorn away. The products that were possibly infected were packaged in red bags and had sell-by dates between February 4, 2013 to March 12, 2013.
“Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of those who buy our popcorn and the employees who make up our company,” Popcorn, Indiana wrote on its website regarding the removal of the popcorn product. “We hold ourselves to standards that are among the highest in the industry, and as such, we regularly conduct testing beyond FDA requirements.”
The popcorn was sold in a range of locations such as retailers, distributor centers and online. Contamination in the popcorn was identified following testing by the company. The New Jersey-based organization noted that the contamination results from listeria monocytogenes, an organism that leads to serious and possibly deathly infection for the elderly, young children or those with a weak immune system.
The company believes that there are a variety of health effects that may possibly result from the contamination of the popcorn. Short-term symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, high fever, intense headaches, stiffness and nausea. Miscarriage and stillbirths are other consequences of listeria infection that are specifically related to pregnant women. Those who are concerned about any health issues are recommended to contact a medical professional immediately.
Apart from the recall of popcorn from Dale and Thomas, there have been other outbreaks of listeria recently. In particular, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently conducting an investigation on the outbreak of listeriosis in imported frescolina ricotta salata cheese. The agency is working with public health and regulatory officials in various states as well as the U.S. Food Drug and Administration (FDA). A total of 18 people were reported to be affected by the listeria outbreak in 12 states and Washington D.C. In September, Forever Cheese Inc. initiated an expanded recall of the Frescolina Marte brand ricotta salata cheese and withdrew all cheeses by the Italian cheese exporter from supermarkets. The CDC recommends that consumers who purchased the Frescolina Marte brand ricotta salata cheese either not eat the cheese or dump any remnants of the cheese.
The CDC also provided a list of general recommendations on limiting the risk for listeriosis at home. For one, individuals should rinse any raw produce under running tap water before any consumption, cooking or cutting. The produce should also be scrubbed with a clean produce brush and then dried on a clean cloth or paper towel. When cooking, uncooked meat and poultry should be separated from any cooked foods, ready-to-eat foods and vegetables. To keep the kitchen clean, hands, knives, countertop and cutting board should be washed following the handling and preparation of uncooked foods. As well, any spills that occur in the refrigerator should also be cleaned up right away with hot water and liquid soap.