A California-based grocery chain is recalling almost half a ton of ready-to-eat salads, including the 365 brand sold by Whole Foods, because they contain corn from a third-party supplier that is under recall for potential contamination from Salmonella and Listeria bacteria.

GH Foods CA LLC of Sacramento initiated the recall of about 940 pounds of salad yesterday, but did not name the supplier of the corn in the notice posted by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Several other recalls announced this week also cite potentially contaminated corn from a third-party supplier, but none of those companies named the supplier.

“FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ refrigerators. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase,” according to the recall notice.

The GH Foods CA recall includes ready-to-eat salads with chicken that were produced on various dates from Oct. 9 through 13. All of the salad products subject to the recall have the establishment number “EST. P-39994” printed inside the USDA mark of inspection on their labels. The Sacramento company shipped the salads to retail locations in California.

Three of the four salad products affected by the recall are packaged as individual servings. One product is sold in bulk for institutional use and distributed by Whole Foods. To determine whether they have any of the recalled salad, retailers and consumers are urged to look for the following packaging and label information: 

  • 9.75-oz. clear plastic clamshell packages containing “Santa Fe Style Salad with Chicken” and Best If Sold By dates from 10/17/18 to 10/18/18.
  • 10-oz. clear plastic clamshell packages containing “365 BY WHOLE FOODS MARKET BBQ STYLE CHOPPED SALAD WITH CHICKEN” and Best If Sold By dates from 10/17/18 to 10/20/18.
  • 6-lbs. bagged kit containing “BBQ Style Salad Kit with White Chicken” and Use By dates from 10/17/18 to 10/22/18.
  • 8-oz. clear plastic clamshell packages containing “365 BY WHOLE FOODS MARKET CHICKEN FAJITA SALAD” and Best If Sold By dates from 10/17/18 to 10/20/18.

“The problem was discovered on Oct.16 when GH Foods CA LLC received notification that the corn used in the production of their ready-to-eat salads with chicken was being recalled by their corn supplier due to Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella concerns,” according to the recall notice posted by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. 

As of yesterday, there had not been any confirmed reports of illnesses, but it can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes infection to develop. Infection from Salmonella bacteria usually takes 12 to 72 hours to develop.

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled salads should monitor themselves for signs of foodborne illness in the coming days and weeks.

The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Otherwise healthy adults often recover without medical treatment. However, people in high-risk groups — which include children, the elderly, pregnant women and individuals with compromised immune systems — can develop serious infections and other complications that require hospitalization.

Listeriosis can cause all of the symptoms seen with Salmonella infections, plus fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions. Infections from Listeria monocytogenes are even more dangerous for people in high risk groups than Salmonella infections.

Listeriosis is an invasive infection that can easily spread beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. Serious and sometimes fatal infections develop in older adults, young children and people with weakened immune systems.

People in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics, but proper diagnosis requires specific lab tests.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

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