When it comes to bringing food to a party, sometimes you just don’t have time to cook something fancy. In those cases, we usually go to the store and buy something pre-packaged so we don’t show up empty handed. If we’re trying to please the crowd, we might just bring some chips and salsa. If we’re trying for health, we may reach for one of those veggie dip platters.
Still, anyone doing the latter should be careful, according to the CDC.
As it turns out, Del Monte Fresh Produce has just issued a recall on a number of their popular vegetable trays.
The initial recall was announced on June 15th and affected their six, 12 and 28-ounce vegetable trays which were being sold at Kwik Trip, Kwik Star, Country Market, Demond’s, Sentry, Potash, Meehan’s, Food Max Supermarket and Peapods throughout the midwest. The states affected included Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.
While the initial announcement is about a month old, the story has grown more complicated in the past few days.
On July 5th, the CDC reported 212 laboratory-confirmed cases of Cyclosporiasis from those who ate these products.
Of those 212 cases, seven people have been hospitalized as well. For those who don’t know, Cyclosporiasis is an infectious disease caused by parasites in feces or feces-contaminated water, most often spread to vegetables and fruit. Those affected by Cyclosporiasis may develop diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, nausea, body aches and other flu-like symptoms. Without proper treatment, these symptoms can last for several days to as long as a month.
The ages of those affected are quite broad, ranging from 13 to 79 years old.
While the parasites have been confirmed under lab analysis, the CDC has not clearly identified the source of the outbreak.
According to their statement, the best course of action is to avoid these products entirely:
“The FDA has not identified which of the ingredients is the vehicle for this outbreak; each component of these vegetable trays is under consideration. FDA is currently reviewing distribution and supplier information related to the vegetable trays; the investigation is ongoing.”
Though the products in question have already been pulled off shelves, customers are advised to check the dates on their food just in case.
The trays in question were all marked with best-by dates of June 17th or earlier, so it is unlikely that new products have found their way into other customers’ hands. Regardless, anyone who thinks they may be experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. Though these parasites can sometimes be hard to detect, the illness can be treated with antibiotics under the right circumstances.
For their part, Del Monte Fresh Produce hasn’t released another statement beyond their voluntary recall.
While these parasites are not usually fatal, this story is another reminder to be careful when sourcing food.
We typically think of everything we get at the grocery store as safe and sanitary, but the truth is that we can’t be sure where and how our food was made. To be safe, stay tuned to food websites to keep up to date with any announcements and recalls and buy from local vendors you know and trust whenever possible.
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