Six more recalls involving sunflower kernels have been announced in the past two days, in addition to reports that there are now two possible illnesses being investigated in connection with a similar previous recall. However, all six of the most recent recalls note that there are no reported illnesses to date being linked to the recalled products. The latest such recall, dated June 8, is from Taylors Candy Inc. of Alsip, IL, which recalled 5.5-ounce Stuckey’s bags of sunflower kernels due to the risk of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. This product, processed by SunOpta Inc., was distributed to retail stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Four other sunflower kernel recalls were announced June 7 by Giant Eagle. These four recalls were of bulk sunflower kernels sold in Market District and/or Giant Eagle stores in Pittsburgh, PA, Cleveland, OH, Indianapolis, IN, and Columbus, OH, and are all second recall expansions following an initial recall and then a first expansion of the initial recall. The Pittsburgh recall involves sunflower kernels with a PLU of 65167 sold in bulk foods sections of Waterworks Mall (Fox Chapel), Shadyside, Township of Pine and South Hills Village Market District locations. The recalled product was available for sale at these locations both loose within the bulk bin through June 1, 2016, and in pre-packaged containers with sell-by dates through Dec. 1, 2016. The affected loose product was also sold from the Meadville Giant Eagle. The Cleveland recall also involves sunflower kernels with a PLU of 65167 but sold in bulk foods sections of three northeast Ohio stores. These include the Rocky River Giant Eagle and the Portage Crossing and Strongsville Market District locations. The recalled product was available for purchase at these locations both loose within the bulk bin through June 1, 2016, and in pre-packaged containers with sell-by dates through Dec. 1, 2016. The Indianapolis recall relates to sunflower kernels with that same PLU but sold in the bulk section of the Carmel Market District store. The product was sold at these locations both loose within the bulk bin through June 1, 2016, and in pre-packaged containers with sell-by dates through Dec. 1, 2016. The Columbus recall has to do with sunflower kernels, also with the same PLU, sold in the bulk foods sections of three central Ohio Market District stores, specifically the Kingdale, Dublin and Grandview Yard Market District locations. The sunflower kernels were available for purchase at those stores both loose within the bulk bin through June 1, 2016, and in pre-packaged containers with sell-by dates through Dec. 1, 2016. The sixth recent recall of sunflower kernels, also dated June 7, came from Rucker’s Makin’ Batch Candies Inc. of Bridgeport, IL, which recalled certain nine-ounce clear bags of Dollywood Cajun Mix. This product is packaged in a clear bag with the Dollywood Theme Park label, UPC 4900005033302, and this recall only affects packages with best-by codes ranging from 01/23/16 thru 11/11/16. The product is distributed at the Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, TN. Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Food recalls posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can be found here.
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