Del Monte Foods is recalling more than 64,000 cases of canned corn that was not properly processed, which can result in contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens that can lead to life-threatening illness if consumed.

The multinational corporation sent the recalled Fiesta Corn with Red & Green Peppers to “multiple distributors and retail locations in 25 states and 12 international locations,” according to the company’s recall notice posted by the Food and Drug Administration yesterday.

Although FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced in recent months that the agency would begin providing the public with lists of retailers who receive recalled food — as has been the policy at the USDA for several years — the Del Monte notice did not specify any retailers. The notice also did not include any information about if, or when, retailers will be named.

Del Monte’s notice says the “under-processing” deviations that occurred during the production of the canned corn “were part of the commercial sterilization process and could result in contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens, which could lead to life-threatening illness if consumed.” The recall notice also says “it is important to note that there have been no reports of illness associated with these products to date.”

One of the most common problems associated with under-processing of canned foods is the growth of bacteria, including Clostridium botulinum, which produce toxins that cause botulism poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With expiration dates in August and September 2021, there is concern that consumers may have the recalled corn in their homes.

Consumers can identify the recalled 15.25-ounce cans (432 grams) by looking for the UPC number 24000 02770 printed on the label and any of the following best-by dates, which are stamped on the bottom of the cans;

  • August 14, 2021
  • August 15, 2021
  • August 16, 2021
  • Sept 3, 2021
  • Sept 4, 2021
  • Sept 5, 2021
  • Sept 6, 2021
  • Sept 22, 2021
  • Sept 23, 2021

Del Monte shipped the corn to Alaska, Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The company also sent the recalled canned corn to a dozen foreign countries: Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, El Salvador, Haiti, Guyana, Uruguay, Aruba, Panama, Saint Lucia, Suriname.

“If consumers have any product with the indicated UPC code and ‘Best if Used By’ dates, they should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or exchange,” according to Del Monte’s recall notice.  

Consumers with questions may contact the company by calling 800-779-7035.

According to information in the company’s recall notice, Del Monte Foods Inc. is one of the largest producers, distributors and marketers of branded food products for the U.S. retail market. Its brands include Del Monte, Contadina, College Inn, and S&W. Del Monte Foods is the U.S. subsidiary of Del Monte Pacific Limited and is not affiliated with certain other Del Monte companies around the world, including Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.

Advice to consumers
While a variety of illnesses can result from eating under-processed canned food, one of the most dangerous is botulism poisoning. Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled product and developed signs of botulism poisoning should immediately seek medical attention, according to information from the CDC. Untreated, botulism can paralyze the muscles needed for breathing, resulting in sudden death.

“In foodborne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food. However, symptoms can begin as soon as 6 hours after or up to 10 days later,” according to the CDC website.

The symptoms of botulism may include some of all of the following: double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, a thick-feeling tongue, dry mouth, and muscle weakness. People with botulism may not show all of these symptoms at once.

These symptoms all result from muscle paralysis caused by the toxin. If untreated, the disease may progress and symptoms may worsen to cause paralysis of certain muscles, including those used in breathing and those in the arms, legs, and the body from the neck to the pelvis area, also called the torso.

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