Massive Frozen Food Recall Due To Listeria Outbreak Affects Costco, Walmart, And Trader Joe's In 50 States

CRF Frozen Foods issued a voluntary recall on Monday that affects 42 different brands nationwide sold at grocery chains like Costco, Walmart, and Trader Joe's.

The major frozen food producer issued the massive recall of 358 food items, mainly consisting of frozen fruits and vegetables, in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) due to the threat of possible Listeria contamination.

The Pasco, Washington, based frozen food giant's new recall is an expansion of a previous recall of frozen vegetables began in April after products were linked to an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes that has made at least eight people sick, according to the press release by the company. The expanded recall now includes all organic and traditional frozen vegetable and fruit products processed in the company's Pasco facility since May 1, 2014.

"Products include 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, and strawberries."
The U.S. FDA has also provided a complete list on its website of every recalled item by brand. The recall affects all 50 states and some Canadian provinces, and are sold at chains like Walmart, Trader Joe's, Kirkland Signature, Earth's Pride Organics, Safeway, and Costco. According to the CRF press release, all affected products have best by dates or sell by dates between April 26, 2016, and April 26, 2018. The FDA issued a cautionary release with a list of the symptoms.
"The organism can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women."
CRF Frozen Foods has suspended operations at the Pasco facility as of Monday morning to allow for a thorough review of operations to be conducted.

According to CBS News, the Listeria outbreak began in September, 2013, when it made people sick in Maryland, Washington, and California. Two of the reported illnesses happened in 2016 and the other six were reported between 2013 and 2015. All eight cases were hospitalized and two people died. Some of these were directly linked to the consumption of CRF-produced frozen products. However, the CDC ruled that Listeria was not the cause of death for either person.

According to CRF, it issued the press release to warn customers not to eat the affected products, and all of the retailers that received products involved in the recall have already been contacted. In addition to grocery chains, the recall also affects 20-pound bags of carrots, peas, and corn supplied to American-Chinese fast food chain Panda Express, who thus far has made no official comment.

Several major food producers have suffered outbreaks recently, including the Texas-based ice cream company Blue Bell Creameries, as the Inquisitr previously reported. Blue Bell recalled all of its products in April, 2015, after contaminated ice cream was linked to ten cases of the bacterial infection, including at least three deaths in Kansas going back to 2010. The case eventually led to a U.S. Department of Justice probe to determine whether Blue Bell knew about Listeria contamination beforehand.

Consumers who bought the affected products can return them to the store for a full refund, or simply throw the products away. People with questions can call the company's consumer hotline at 844-483-3866, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time if they have any questions.

[Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]