Listeria-related egg recall expands to products sold at Walmart, Costco, Trader Joe’s

Composite stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A hard-boiled egg recall has expanded to products sold at Walmart, Costco and Trader Joe’s following a deadly listeria outbreak.

According to a press release from the FDA sent to media Thursday, Almark Foods has expanded a voluntary recall – which initially included bulk hard-boiled eggs in pails – to include all hard-boiled eggs manufactured at its Gainesville, Georgia, facility. At this time, Almark Foods is no longer producing products from this facility.

The recall now includes products packaged for sale at retail that have “Best If Used By Dates” going through March 2, 2020. The dates may also start with the letter “G,” representing the facility.

As of Friday, a total of seven people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from five states, including one death. Although Utah is not one of the states, FDA officials believe the products have been shipped nationwide.

The expanded recall includes popular brands and organic fare, including Egglands Best, Everyday Essentials, Great Value, Kirkland Signature, Kroger, Pete & Gerry’s, Simple Truth Organics and Vital Farms.

Trader Joe’s egg and potato salads were also recalled due to the fact that Almark Foods provided broken egg whites used in the production of the salads.

For a complete list of recalled products, click here.

Listeria causes and symptoms

Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) is a species of disease-causing bacteria that can be found in moist environments, soil, water, decaying vegetation and animals, and can survive and even grow under refrigeration and other food preservation measures. When people eat food contaminated with L. monocytogenes, they may develop a disease called listeriosis.

Depending on the severity of the illness, symptoms may last from days to several weeks. Mild symptoms may include a fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If the more severe form of listeriosis develops, symptoms may include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions.

People infected with L. monocytogenes may start to see symptoms in a few hours or as long as two to three days after eating contaminated food. More severe forms of listeriosis may take anywhere from three days to three months to develop.

The severity of listeriosis varies and in some cases can be fatal, especially among the elderly, people with weakened immune systems or chronic diseases. Listeriosis can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women and their newborn babies, leading to serious complications with their pregnancy, including miscarriage and stillbirth.

General food safety tips for consumers

People should consult their healthcare provider if they suspect that they have developed symptoms that resemble listeriosis.

Consumers should follow these steps for preventing foodborne illness:

  • Wash the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator, cutting boards and countertops, and utensils that may have contacted contaminated foods. Then sanitize them with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water, and dry with a clean cloth or paper towel that has not been previously used.
  • Wash and sanitize surfaces used to serve or store potentially contaminated products.
  • Wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.

Consumers can also submit a voluntarily report here, a complaint, or adverse event (illness or serious allergic reaction) related to a food product.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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