General Mills announced on Friday that it is voluntarily recalling frozen green beans sold under the Cascadian Farm brand after a routine product sampling turned up a package that tested positive for listeria bacteria.
The green bean recall involves 16-ounce bags of frozen Cascadian Farm green beans marked with a “better if used by” date of June 2017. General Mills said that the green beans that tested positive for listeria contamination were produced in June 2015.
The recall comes about six months after the food corporation recalled 60,000 10-ounce bags of frozen Cascadian Farm green beans, also for Listeria contamination. There is no word on possible causes of the contamination.
The discovery of Listeria in food samples or in a food processing plant is a serious matter, given the lethalness of the bacteria and its notorious persistence in contaminating food-manufacturing facilities. Not only can Listeria survive in temperatures below freezing, but is able to thrive in them.
Federal health authorities believe that about 255 people die from Listeria infections (Listeriosis) every year in the U.S. Symptoms of Listeriosis include fever and muscle aches, which are sometimes preceded by diarrhea and other gastrointestinal distress. Listeriosis almost always spreads beyond the intestinal tract, making it especially dangerous for older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems.
A person with listeriosis usually has fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Almost everyone who is diagnosed with listeriosis has “invasive” infection, in which the bacteria spread beyond the gastrointestinal tract. The symptoms vary with the infected person:
One of the most notable outbreaks of Listeria illness occurred earlier this year after shipments of Listeria-contaminated Blue Bell ice cream manufactured in unsanitary facilities were distributed to several states. The outbreak was linked to the deaths of three people in Kansas.
There are no indications that General Mills will cease production at the facility that produces the green beans. Because the product is typically cooked before eating, it is more likely the risk of foodborne illness is reduced significantly.
General Mills said that no other varieties or production dates of Cascadian Farm products are affected by this recall.
The affected packages were distributed to retail establishments nationwide. The company urges consumers to dispose of the products affected by this recall and contact Cascadian Farm Consumer Relations at 800-624-4123 for a replacement.