DHMH Working with FDA to Trace Recalled Products Due to Listeria Contamination

 BALTIMORE (November 8, 2013) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and Maryland local health departments are working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to trace and recall products potentially contaminated with the Listeria bacteria. Listeria are bacteria that can be found in dust, soil, water, sewage, and in the environment. Listeria can multiply in refrigerated food that is contaminated.

Reser’s Fine Foods and Garden-Fresh Foods, Inc. are recalling refrigerated ready-to-eat products because these products may be contaminated with Listeria. The recall has been recently expanded this week to include more products. The recalled refrigerated ready-to-eat products were distributed to Canada and nationwide, including to Maryland.

The products are sold in supermarkets and delis under the Reser’s and Garden-Fresh brand names, but consumers should also be aware that many products may be sold or served under a different label in grocery and retail stores, restaurants and institutions. Products affected by this recall are listed at the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/Recalls/default.htm

To date, no Listeria illnesses have been conclusively linked to any of the products recently recalled for Listeria contamination, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DHMH will continue to monitor and investigate.

Listeriosis is a life-threatening invasive infection caused by eating Listeria –contaminated food. The disease primarily affects pregnant women and their newborns, older adults, and persons with immune systems weakened by cancer, cancer treatments, or other serious conditions (like diabetes, kidney failure, liver disease, and HIV/AIDS).

A person with listeriosis generally has fever and muscle aches and can have a bloodstream infection or meningitis. Other symptoms include diarrhea, headache, nervous system involvement and pregnancy complications. Although people can sometimes develop listeriosis up to 2 months after eating contaminated food, symptoms usually start within several days, often with diarrhea. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Anyone suspecting listeriosis should contact their healthcare provider.

Consumers who have purchased recalled product may take it back to the store for a refund or discard it in a way where no one else can eat it.

More information about Listeria can be found at the DHMH website http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/IDEHASharedDocuments/LISTERIOSIS.pdf. 

 
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