Frozen Food Recall Affects Costco, Safeway, Trader Joe’s Products

A total of 358 frozen food products marketed under 42 brands have been recalled by CRF Frozen Foods LLC of Pasco, Washington announced on May 2, 2016 in an extension of an earlier recall in April 2016, both related to potential listeria contamination.

The various brands of fruits and vegetables were all produced in the Pasco, Washington facility, sold in all 50 states and in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The frozen food products, some of which are organic and some non-organic, were sold by Costco, Safeway and Trader Joe’s stores in addition to other retail outlets. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a complete list of the recalled foods.

The recall affects all the products CRF Frozen Foods has produced since May 2014; sell by dates on the packages range from April 26, 2016 to April 26, 2018. Health officials are concerned that the general public and others, such as restaurants, who purchased the affected products as long as two years ago may not check their freezer stock for the potentially contaminated food.

On April 23, 2016, the frozen food supplier announced a list of 11 recalled products, followed two days later by a suspension of service at the Pasco plant to allow a more thorough review by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine if the facility was contaminated with listeria. The expansion of the recall also came at the request of the CDC after eight cases of listeria infections, dating back to September 2013, were linked to CRF Frozen Foods products.

Both the CDC and CRF Frozen Foods encourage consumers and retailers who have any of these products to either discard them or return to the place of purchase for a refund.

The eights cases were reported in the states of California, Maryland and Washington with all of the individuals requiring hospitalization. Two of those infected with listeria subsequently died, although health officials say listeriosis was not the cause of death in either case.

The CDC indicates that the investigation into the illnesses is yet ongoing and part of a complex process to determine the origin of a food-related infection that can sometimes be fatal. The CDC site explains, “Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence available at this time indicates that frozen vegetables produced by CRF Frozen Foods of Pasco, Washington and sold under various brand names are one likely source of illness in this outbreak.”

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