Listeria linked to diced onions leads to 7-ton salad recall

Listeria, seen here, has been traced to Colorado cantaloupes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC

Listeria outbreak
A microscopic image of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.
CDC

(CBS News) Garden Fresh Foods is recalling nearly seven tons of its pre-made meat salads over possible Listeria contamination.

325,000 pounds frozen meat recalled over Listeria

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Services said Wednesday that the Milwaukee, Wis.-based company is voluntarily recalling 13,600 pounds of its products - which include pasta, chicken and ham salads - in light of an ongoing onion recall. The salads contain diced onions made by Gills Onions, LLC of Oxnard, Calif., which were recalled last month over Listeria.

Listeria was found in Gills Onions' facility July 18 where the onions were processed. As a precautionary measure, the recall was expanded on July 25 to include all products processed in that facility that might still be in the marketplace. The facility has been out of service pending the outcome of the investigation and mitigation efforts.

Listeria infection, or listeriosis, is caused by the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Healthy people who ingest the bacteria may experience a high fever, headache, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, but the infection can be more severe or even fatal for young children, pregnant women, the elderly or people with weakened immune systems.

No illnesses have been linked to the onion recall nor the salads recall. People who are having symptoms or concerned about their illness risk should contact their doctor.

  • 8 lb. packages of "Finest Traditions Spiral Pasta and Chicken Salad" with product code 38576 and lot number 08171201
  • 4 lb. packages, 2 per case of "Finest Traditions Chicken Salad Spread" with product code 38886 and lot number 08201201 or 08151201
  • 12 oz. packages, 6 per case of "Finest Traditions Chicken Salad Spread" with product code 38892 and lot number 08201201, or 08151201
  • 8 lb. packages of "Finest Traditions Gemelli Pasta & Chicken Salad" with product code 38578 and lot number 08151201 or 08161201
  • 5 lb. packages of "Garden Fresh All White Meat Chicken Salad With Cranberries" with product code 5114 and lot number 08201201, 08201202, 08151201, or 08151202
  • 5 lb. packages of "Garden Fresh Chicken Salad" with product code 5113 and lot number 08201201, or 08171201
  • 5 lb. packages of "Garden Fresh Premium Chicken Salad" with product code 5167 and lot number 08151201, or 08121201
  • 5 lb. packages, 4 per case, of "Garden Fresh Reduced Fat Chicken Salad" with product code 5305 and lot number 08141201, or 18171201
  • 5 lb. packages of "Garden Fresh Reduced Fat Chicken Salad" with product code 5306 and lot number 08141201, or 18171201
  • 12 oz. packages, 6 per case of "Market Pantry Chicken Salad With All White Meat Chicken" with product code 24103 and lot number 08191201, 08191202, 08191203, 08191204, 08191205, 08191206, 08191207, or 08191208
  • 5 lb. packages of "Weis Ham Salad" with product code 5212 and lot number 08161201
  • 8 oz. packages, 9 per case of "Weis Ham Salad" with product code 05334 and lot number 08151202
  • 12 oz. packages, 6 per case of "Garden Fresh Chicken Salad" with product code 6164 and lot number 08171201

All the products were produced between July 10 and July 16, 2012, bearing the establishment number "P-17256" or "Est. 17256" inside the USDA mark of inspection and have the lot number ink jetted on the package. The lot number indicates the product's expiration date, so lot number "081912xx" means it expires August 19, 2012. The products were distributed to retailers and institutions nationwide

Labels of these affected products can be found here on the USDA's website.

The USDA had previously announced on July 27 that Huxtable's Kitchen recalled 5,600 pounds of its Trader Joe's BBQ Chicken Salad because it contained Gills onions.

Individuals at risk should wash their hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling the products and should wash cutting boards, dishes and other utensils with hot and soapy water to reduce their risk for Listeria infection. The USDA also urges people to use precooked or ready-to-eat food as soon as you can, because Listeria can grow in the refrigerator.

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