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Canada recalls coconut; same brand linked to U.S. outbreak

Coconut Tree brand frozen, shredded coconut is under recall in Canada because of possible contamination with Salmonella. The same brand is under recall in the United States, where it is implicated in a Salmonella outbreak.

The same brand of frozen, shredded coconut that has been linked to a multistate outbreak of Salmonella in the United States is now under recall in Canada, as well as two other brands.

No illnesses have been confirmed in Canada in connection with the recalled coconut, according to a recall notice posted Wednesday evening by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Green Field, top, and Captain’s Choice brands of frozen coconut are being recalled in Canada because of potential Salmonella contamination.

However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a week ago that one person in Canada had been confirmed with an infection from one of the two outbreak strains of Salmonella that has sickened 25 people across nine states.

As of Wednesday night, neither Public Health Agency of Canada nor the British Columbia Department of Health had posted any information about the Canadian Salmonella case reported by the CDC.

Retailers in British Columbia definitely received shipments of the implicated coconut, according to the CFIA recall notice, and it could have been distributed nationwide.

The Canadian recall notice did not name any manufacturers or importers of the recalled coconut. Instead, the CFIA notice says, “industry is recalling” the frozen, shredded coconut.

“This recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency test results,” the CFIA recall notice states. The agency did not indicate whether the testing was part of its regular random enforcement operations or prompted by the U.S. investigation.

Brands recalled in Canada are Green Field, Captain’s Choice and Coconut Tree. The Coconut Tree brand has been under recall in the United States since Jan. 3, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Specific products recalled in Canada


Brand Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
Green Field Frozen Shredded Young Coconut 227 g None – All packages sold up to and including Jan. 24 7 12190 99714 4
Captain’s Choice Shredded Coconut 454 g None – All packages sold up to and including Jan. 24 8 934791 920105
Captain’s Choice Shredded Young Coconut 227 g None – All packages sold up to and including Jan. 24 8 934791 920112
Coconut Tree Shredded Young Coconut 227 g None – All packages sold up to and including Jan. 24 7 79139 06522 7

Coconut Tree brand frozen, shredded coconut was recalled in the United States on Jan. 3 because of Salmonella contamination.

U.S. outbreak investigation
On Jan. 16, the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention warned consumers against eating recalled Coconut Tree brand coconut, which Evershing International Trading Co. distributed to restaurants, grocery stores and other retail locations.

“Frozen shredded coconut can last for several months if kept frozen and may still be in retail stores or in people’s homes. CDC recommends that retailers not sell, restaurants not serve, and consumers not eat recalled Coconut Tree brand frozen shredded coconut,” the Jan. 16 warning said.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health identified the outbreak in December 2017 while investigating a single case of Salmonella infection.

The outbreak began in May 2017 in the United States and could be ongoing. As of Jan. 12, the CDC had confirmed outbreak cases in nine states. The most recent U.S. victim’s symptoms began on Nov. 4. The confirmed outbreak serotypes are Salmonella I 4,[5],12:b:- and Salmonella Newport.

Advice to consumers
Consumers who have had the recalled coconut in their homes should wash and sanitize countertops as well as drawers or shelves in refrigerators or freezers where frozen shredded coconut was stored, according to the CDC.

Anyone who has eaten the recalled coconut, or foods or beverages made with it, and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should immediately seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the pathogen.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop symptoms within 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. Symptoms can include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

In severe cases, the infection can be fatal. Infants, young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with  weakened immune systems are at greatest risk.

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