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Stores, DOD recall Birds Eye peas for Listeria; company mum

Several U.S. grocery retailers and the U.S. Defense Commissary Agency, which provides food to military personnel and families around the world, are recalling Birds Eye brand peas because a sample tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

Complete distribution details were not available Thursday. However, the recalled peas have best-by dates in July 2019, so there is concern that consumers may have unused portions in their homes.

The notices posted as of Thursday night did not include photos of the specific Birds Eye peas packages that are subject to recall for Listeria. This photo shows one of the company’s package styles.

It can take up to 70 days for symptoms of Listeria infection to develop, so consumers who have eaten the recalled peas are urged to monitor themselves and family members for symptoms during the coming months.

Anyone who develops symptoms should immediately seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the bacteria.

Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems can develop serious and sometimes deadly infections from exposure to Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

As of 1:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, neither the Birds Eye website nor that of Pinnacle Foods Inc., which produced the baby sweet peas, had any information about the recall or the finding of the potentially deadly bacteria. Officials with Pinnacle did not respond Thursday for requests for additional information.

The Food and Drug Administration also did not have any recall information posted as of last night.

A notice on the Defense Commissary Agency’s website, dated Oct. 2, states the agency learned of the recall when it received an “All Food and Drug Activity” message from the Department of Defense on Sept. 30.

At least three regional grocery retailers, Publix, Meijer and Big Y, have posted the recall of Birds Eye baby sweet peas on their websites, but non of the notices specify whether the peas are canned or frozen. None on the notices include a photograph of the recalled product.

Because of the product size, reported to be 13 ounces in the recall notices, it is likely the peas are frozen and packaged in plastic bags with the Birds Eye logo. All of the recall notices are reporting the same best-by dates, UPC numbers and lot codes. Consumers and retailers can identify the recalled peas by looking for the following information on the packaging:

  • Birds Eye Baby Sweet Peas, 13 ounces;
  • Item UPC number 014500022530;
  • Case UPC number 001450002253;
  • Lot number 3905079AB1 or 3906079AB1; and
  • Best-by dates of July 5, 2019, and July 6, 2019.

“No illnesses have been reported. The potential for contamination was uncovered as the result of a single routine sample taken at retail which tested positive,” according to the Publix recall “Consumers with questions may contact Pinnacle Foods at 888-299-7646 daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EDT.”

The recall notice from the Defense Commissary Agency, headquartered at Fort Lee, VA, said customers should return the peas to the commissary where they purchased them for a full refund.

“The Defense Commissary Agency has publicized this recall to all its stores,” said Richard Stith, lead consumer safety officer, in the DCA notice. “Whenever a commissary has a recalled or withdrawn product in its inventory, the product is immediately removed from store shelves.

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