Health

Frozen Burritos Recalled Over Fears Of Listeria

| by Sarah Zimmerman

Over 253,000 pounds of frozen burrito products are being recalled in four states after fears of listeria contamination.

The New Mexico based Green Chile Food Company has issued a recall various frozen burrito products containing meat and poultry that were shipped to stores and distribution centers in California, Illinois, Oregon, and South Dakota. WGHP reports that the USDA discovered the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in a beef and potato burrito during a random routine check.

The burritos were produced and packaged between March 8 and May 10.

The USDA has classified the recall as Class 1 which, according to its website, is used for "a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death."

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The company is recalling all burritos that contain meat or poultry, including its breakfast burritos.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that listeria most seriously affects pregnant women, and the bacteria can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or a life-threatening infection of the newborn after birth.

Around 1,600 people are diagnosed with listeriosis each year. Symptoms usually don't appear for one to four weeks after contamination and can include headaches, diarrhea, fever, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. 

Those aged 65 and older or with a weakened immune system are also particularly vulnerable to the bacteria, and could stand to develop infections to the bloodstream or to the brain.

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"Most people with invasive listeriosis require hospital care, and about one in five people with the infection die," writes the CDC.

Listeria can be treated with antibiotics, especially when it's caught early. The CDC recommends that anyone who has possibly eaten food contaminated with listeria should see a medical professional if they feel any flu-like symptoms within two months of eating the suspected food.

The USDA reports that there have been no confirmed reports of illness. Anyone who has purchased the product is advised to not eat it and instead throw it away or return it to the store from which it was purchased.

This is the seventh recall this year over a possible listeria contamination. The other contaminated products include: PREMO Brand meat and poultry sandwich wraps; Monte Cristo sandwiches from Kabob’s Acquisition, Inc.; ham from Fineberg Packing Co., Inc.; House of Raeford chicken strips; chicken salad from Three Ready Pac Foods, Inc.; and certain restaurant-chain deli meats.

Sources: WGHP, USDA (2), CDC / Photo credit: jeffreyw/Flickr

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