A Michigan company is recalling an Inspired Organics peanut butter alternative in the U.S. and Canada because laboratory tests detected Listeria monocytogenes in the product. 

Lipari Foods has been distributing the product since April 2018, according to the company’s recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration’s website.

Lipari Foods LLC, based in Warren, MI, shipped the Inspired Organics brand organic sunflower butter to retail stores and unspecified foodservice operations in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the Canadian province of Ontario.

Consumers can identify the 16-ounce jars of Inspired Organics sunflower butter by looking for the following label information:

  • Lipari item number 967064;
  • Best-by date of 10/2019;
  • Lot number 99; and 
  • UPC number 863669742526.   

As of Dec. 11, no confirmed illnesses had been reported in relation to the recalled sunflower butter spread, which can be used as a peanut butter alternative.

“This was brought to our attention by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) after product testing returned positive test results for potential for Listeria monocytogenes,” according to the recall notice. 

“We are working closely with the manufacturer, MDARD, and the Food and Drug Administration to understand the cause of the situation and ensure that all affected product has been pulled from commerce.”

No one should eat the recalled sunflower butter. Consumers and foodservice operators, such as restaurants, hospital and school kitchens, should discard the product or return it to the point of purchase. Consumers with questions should call customer service at 800-729-3354.

Advice to consumers
Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled product and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about the possible Listeria exposure.

Also, anyone who has eaten any of the recalled product should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop. 

Symptoms of Listeria infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Specific laboratory tests are required to diagnose Listeria infections, which can mimic other illnesses. 

Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people such as cancer patients who have weakened immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illnesses, life-threatening infections and other complications. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, their infections can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.

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