A third recall is underway in Canada for the same brand of frozen, shredded coconut that U.S. officials say is linked to a multistate Salmonella outbreak that has sickened people on both sides of the border.
Posted Monday, the third recall notice from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency named Coconut Tree brand frozen coconut. It has the same lot number as the Coconut Tree brand coconut in the second recall, but it has different date codes. Both the second and third recalls indicate Thai Indochine Trading Inc. is the recalling firm.
The first Canadian recall of the Coconut Tree branded product, on Jan. 24, also included Green Field and Captain’s Choice brands. It did not specify an importer or distributor, merely stating “industry” had initiated the recalls.
Canadian public health officials are not yet on record regarding the coconut’s link to the outbreak reported by U.S. officials. All three of the Canadian recall notices state: “There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.”
On Jan. 16, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a sick person in Canada was infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella as some of the U.S. 25 outbreak victims. There are two outbreak strains, according to the CDC — Salmonella I 4,,12:b:- and Salmonella Newport.
In Canada, the coconut is known to have been distributed to retailers across most of the country.
In the United States, the recalling firm, Evershing International Trading Co., distributed the Coconut Tree brand frozen shredded coconut in Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington, California and Oklahoma. The recall notice on the FDA website reported there was redistribution to Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York Pennsylvania, Oregon, Florida and Texas, but it did not indicate if it was sent to retailers or restaurants in other states.
“This frozen shredded coconut product is packaged in 16-ounce plastic bags,” according to the U.S. recall notice.
“This is a complete recall of ALL (emphasis in original) Coconut Tree brand frozen shredded coconut currently on the market.”
Public health officials in the U.S. are concerned that consumers may still have unused portions of the recalled frozen coconut in their homes because of its long shelf life. Although the recall notice posted with the FDA did not specify dates, the second and third recall notices in Canada listed date codes more than a year away — July and August 2019.
Advice to consumers
Officials in both countries say the recalled coconut should not be eaten.
“Check to see if you have recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased,” according to the Canadian recalls.
“Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may contract serious and sometimes deadly infections.”
Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled coconut and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the pathogen.
Symptoms can include fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
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