(Photo: piyato / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
An Indiana based ready-to-eat popcorn producer has recalled it product due to a Listeria fear. The popcorn was apparently distributed via the internet which means that it is not restricted to one geographic location. The company voluntarily began to recall the product after tests they conducted revealed the potentially deadly Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.
This post on Foodsafetynews.com has more:
Dale and Thomas Popcorn is voluntarily recalling a limited number of ready-to-eat bags of select flavors of Popcorn, Indiana-brand popcorn products because of possible contamination by Listeria monocytogenes.
The recalled products were distributed to various retailers, vendors, distribution centers, and consumers through the Internet on or after August 8th, 2012 with Best By dates of February 4th, 2013 through March 12th, 2013. All recalled products were packaged in red bags of various sizes. Consumers can identify if they have purchased an impacted product by looking at the Best By date located in the front, top right corner of the package and the Bag UPC (Code) located in the nutritional panel found on the back, bottom left corner of the package – see a photo here.
The potential for contamination was noted after testing by the company revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in some ready-to-eat bags of Popcorn, Indiana-brand products.
Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that is most dangerous to young children, frail or elderly people and people with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Listeria is particularly dangerous to pregnant women who can suffer miscarriages and still births if they contract a Listeria infection.
This is not the first Listeria scare in The USA recently. Last year a deadly outbreak of listeria caused the death and illness of people in the Colorado area. The source of the listeria was found to be cantaloupes grown on a local farm. Sadly the outbreak caused the death of a 92 year old man who contracted listeriosis and died shortly afterwards. He was just one of the 37 people who lost their lives due to the outbreak in addition to the 147 that became ill.
This incident serves as a stern warning to farmers as well as retailers about the dangers posed by Listeria and other food borne bacteria. This incident has resulted in a large number of civil cases and is likely to cost the farm owner, where the bacteria is said to have originated, millions of American Dollars.
Listeria is spread because of the way food is stored, handled and consumed which may affect and contribute to listeria contamination. The highest risk foods are ready-to-eat foods and those stored at refrigeration temperature for a long period such as fruit or other ready to eat foods as in the case of the popcorn above. Consumers need to be particularly cautious of the pre-packed and ready to eat food varieties which although provide convenience may be carrying bacteria that can case sickness. Check the expiry dates on products and never consume foods that have expired. Also ensure that if foods look suspicious you do not eat them. Remember food contamination can prove fatal.