Warning: This Massive Frozen Vegetable Recall Probably Affects You

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One of the best ways to buy fruits and vegetables when they’re out of season is to hit the frozen food aisle at your local market. Unfortunately, if you buy your produce in that form, then this massive frozen vegetable recall probably affects you.

Yet again, a listeria outbreak in a food processing plant has caused a recall of frozen food, much of it organic. (Has anyone else noticed that these seem to be occurring a lot more frequently of late?)

What is listeria?

Listeria is a bacterium that causes an infection called listeriosis. It is most commonly contracted when a person eats food that has been contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.  Most at risk for illness are the elderly, pregnant women, babies, and those with a compromised immune system.

A healthy person who contracts listeria will be sick for a few days with symptoms like:

  • high fever
  • severe headache
  • stiffness
  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea

However in pregnant women, a listeria infection can result in stillbirth or miscarriage, and the baby can be born with the infection.

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More serious cases can escalate to bacteremia and meningitis, sometimes resulting in death. Approximately 300 people per year die from a listeria infection.

Why does this keep happening?

If you’ve been paying attention lately, it seems like listeria has been in the news more often than ever before, and most of it is coming from “ready-to-eat” foods such as bagged lettuce and frozen food.

An article in Food Poison Journal explains why:

The prevalence of Listeria in ready-to-eat meats has not proven difficult to explain. [26, 29] As one expert in another much-cited article has noted:

The centralized production of prepared ready-to-eat food products…increases the risk of higher levels of contamination, since it requires that foods be stored for long periods at refrigerated temperatures that favour the growth of Listeria. During the preparation, transportation and storage of prepared foods, the organism can multiply to reach a threshold needed to cause infection.

It would be great if we could test products ourselves, but unfortunately, the price of a listeria test prevents that for basically everyone.

These fruits and vegetables have been recalled

In what seems to be a recurring nightmare for the packaged food industry, an absolutely massive recall has been announced for frozen fruits and vegetables. It seems that most of our fruits and vegetables are coming from one company: CRF Frozen Foods of Pasco, Washington. Where it can get confusing is that the company simply private labels the same food for many different companies, who then distribute it under their own banners.

This recall goes back to foods that were packaged as of May 1, 2014 to the present and includes:

  • organic and non-organic broccoli
  • butternut squash
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • corn
  • edamame
  • green beans
  • Italian beans
  • kale
  • leeks
  • lima beans
  • onions
  • peas
  • pepper strips
  • potatoes
  • potato medley
  • root medley
  • spinach
  • sweet potatoes
  • various vegetable medleys, blends, and stir fry packages
  • blueberries
  • cherries
  • cranberries
  • peaches
  • raspberries
  • strawberries

More than 40 brand names are affected.  It’s important to note that not every offering from these brands is being recalled. GO HERE to check the products in your freezer against the lot numbers and dates.

  1. Bybees
  2. Columbia River Organics
  3. Northwest Growers Select
  4. Organic by Nature
  5. CH Belt
  6. Chef Maxwell
  7. Correct Choice
  8. Earth’s Pride
  9. Emerald Farms
  10. Endico
  11. Farmer’s Bounty
  12. Fiesta Mart
  13. Great Value (WalMart’s house brand)
  14. The Inn
  15. James Farm
  16. JDFA
  17. Kirkland Signature
  18. Life Foods
  19. Live Smart
  20. McCain
  21. Mity Fresh
  22. Mountain Mist
  23. O Organic (Safeway’s organic line)
  24. Overhill Farms
  25. Panda Express
  26. Pantry Essentials
  27. Parade
  28. Price First
  29. Quirch
  30. Safeway Kitchens
  31. Season’s Choice
  32. Signature Kitchens
  33. Simply Nature
  34. Trader Joes
  35. True Goodness
  36. USDA
  37. Veggie Maria
  38. VIP
  39. Wellsley Farms
  40. Wild Oats
  41. Woolworth’s

Were you affected by this frozen vegetable recall?

A partial recall occurred on April 23. Operations ceased at the CRF facility on April 26. The full recall was announced on May 2. Today was the first I had heard of it. I had several of the affected foods in my freezers and will be returning them to the stores for a refund. Do you also have some of the recalled foods?

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/sources.html

http://www.listeriablog.com/listeria-information/#.VypRHzArLIU

What we need to know during a Listeria Outbreak

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm498841.htm

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • How interesting! So where does CRF get the food from? If I am reading this correctly it’s all the same just under different brands, so depending on what brand you buy you could pay more or less. Lol This is a eye opener – Thanks for the info.

  • So, let me get this straight. ONE company packages the same food under different names, which may or may not be labled organic, and they all sell for different prices? Good grief Daisy-the consumer has been snookered, fleeced, and fraudulently coerced!!! How well my garden does just got a lot more important. Back to the Ball Canning recipes-for sure! I feel like my house has just been robbed!

  • Phew…we eat Cascadian Farms or locally grown and frozen broccoli and corn. The rest of our veggies I can, well except for fiddleheads, which are in season just now…YAY!
    But it is interesting, are you thinking a conspiracy to put organics in a bad light?
    P.

  • The CDC also mentions not to drink raw milk as a preventative. We receive ours from a local farm and use it for butter, yogurt, etc… As a personal choice, I opt to naturally improve my digestion as a preventative measure rather than rely on antibiotics after the fact. It’s expensive at $10 a gallon, but it supplies our dairy needs.

    • I’ve been wanting to make yogurt from raw milk but am intimidated by those who warn it is very hard because of the enzymes in the milk. Would you share your method or point me to a website where there are instructions please? Thanks.

      • Joann,
        I purchased milk grains online at Amazon. For me, the most important ingrediant is quality raw, unpasteurized milk. I searched so many websites and resources I lost count. Daisy, do you have a reference on hand?
        TS

      • Did some checking, I purchased my milk grains from Mr. & Mrs. Kefir on Amazon. Items needed are grains, raw milk, sterilized glass jar with plastic lid, strainer or mesh bag, and spatula (try to avoid metal). Temperature of location will determine how quickly it will culture. Store raw milk in glass jar with lid in fridge when not in use.

  • This may seem like a dumb question but doesn’t cooking kill the bacteria. I can see a problem with frozen fruit which may be served right out of the bag. I can’t see munching frozen vegetables right out of the freezer. It stands to reason that if pastueization makes milk safe (165 degrees for 15 to 30 seconds) then cooking in a pot of boiling water or steamer would do the same.

  • Well, day is 2 and this recall is important enough that Costco sounded the alarm that I did buy frozen vegs from this company, and lwtc. Costco also sent me an email. They will follow up with a letter. But I must’ve cooked those veggies and served them! NOT in the freezer! EEEWWW! I did lose some product when someone left the freezer door open and it caused defrosting. I did throw everything out…..so maybe I was saved by carelessness?? This is NOT GOOD!

    Costco directed me to: http://www.Costco.com/recall
    CRF Frozen Foods- 844-483-3866 8am to 6 pm EST

    I am such a fanatic about foods. I watch expiration dates, I smell & examine everything before cooking. My refridg and freezer are CLOROX cleaned every 90 days. I feel like I’ve been hoodwinked.

  • I shop at Kroger, IGA, and Aldi. None of the brands that those stores carry are on the list. Thank the Lord! Otherwise, I have at least 10 of those frozen foods in my freezer right now. Like another commenter said, looks like how my garden does this year just got that much more important! I do prefer to have homegrown produce; it tastes so much better and I know where it came from (and what’s on it).
    Thanks for the heads-up and the list!

  • I just read that Trader Joes added its prepared food sections to the list of foods affected by listeria. So crazy — just another reminder to grow your own when possible!

  • Well, all in all, it’s the perfect opportunity for the government to throw out food and create a shortage thus causing prices to go up. I just know they are thrilled to futhur this inconvenience on the masses. It’s unfortunate people can’t use good food handling procedures and properly cook their foods…..this wouldn’t be necessary.

    • @Brenda

      Don’t forget questionable growing practices and field hands who use the fields as their personal bathroom. I believe it was last year that a recall happened because the workers were peeing in the crops.

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