December 4, 2012
Trader Joe’s Recalls Products Due To Listeria Concerns
Connie K. Ho for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Trader Joe´s recently had to recall one of its frozen food items. Aliya´s Foods Limited, who produces “Trader Joe´s Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice,” recently announced plans to recall about 4,865 pounds of the frozen butter chicken and rice products due to possible Listeria contamination.WebMD reported that the products were imported from Canada. Approximately 240 cartons of the butter chicken had already been sent to Trader Joe stores throughout the U.S., including stores in Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode island and Virginia.
Consumers should be aware, as authorities told the Los Angeles Times that they believe that some shoppers have already purchased the products from Trader Joe´s stores. Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria can lead to listeriosis, a serious infection that can harm older adults, people who have weak immune system, as well as pregnant women and their unborn infant children. Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, headache, neck stiffness, muscle aches, along with diarrhea or other gastrointestinal conditions. In some cases, listeria may be related to miscarriages and stillbirth or even fatal infections in the elderly or those with a weak immune system.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture´s Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) states that products imported to the U.S include the product code “2012-10-31” and lot code “30512." Consumers who are concerned about the product can call Trader Joe´s at 626-599-3817.
“In accordance with our stringent health and safety standards, and out of the utmost caution and care for our customers, all code dates of this product have been removed from sale and destroyed. To date, we have received no reports of illness related to this product,” noted an online statement from Trader´s Joe´s. “Customers who have purchased this item are urged to not eat it, and to dispose of it or return it to any Trader Joe's for a full refund.”
According to the Huffington Post, Trader Joe´s has had other difficulties with food items this past year. While the chicken salad and onion products had to be recalled due to concerns about Listeria, Sunland peanut butter had to be recalled due to salmonella.
Regarding listeriosis, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a set of recommendations for reducing risk for the illness. These recommended guidelines are similar to the advice related to prevention of other foodborne illnesses like salmonellosis. One important rule is to carefully wash and handle food. With raw products like fruits and vegetables, individuals should first rinse the produce under running tap water prior to cutting, cooking or eating. Then the produce should be scrubbed and dried. When preparing uncooked meat and poultry, it´s best to keep the two separated from vegetables, cooked foods and ready-to-eat foods.
Apart from careful preparation of food, individuals should try to maintain a clean and safe kitchen environment. It is essential to wash hands, knives, countertops and cutting boards following preparation and handling of uncooked foods. Any spills in the refrigerator should also be cleaned up right away with hot water and liquid soap.
Lastly, the CDC advises safe storage of foods, For example, leftovers should be placed into shallow containers to limit cooling. Leftovers should only be kept in the fridge for three to four days. In general, food packages should not be kept in the fridge for longer than two weeks.