UNFI is recalling cases of “Arla Apetina Marinated Feta & Olives in Oil, Pitted” distributed in seven states because the product may have been exposed to conditions that allow the bacteria that causes botulism poisoning to grow.

A total of 75 cases of this product were distributed to 69 retail customers serviced by UNFI distribution centers in Greenwood, IN. and Sarasota, Fla. between Jan. 1, 2019 and Aug. 30 in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, and Missouri.

“The product requires refrigeration to ensure food safety and we have learned that some product distributed to retail customers from two UNFI distribution centers may have been exposed to temperatures above refrigeration during storage and/or distribution by UNFI’S customers,” according to the company’s recall notice. 

“Extended exposure to above-refrigerated temperatures may allow the growth of bacteria such as Clostridium Botulinum to reach unsafe levels, which if consumed can cause life-threatening illness or death.”

The company’s recall notice, posted by the Food and Drug Administration, did not include the names of any of the retail stores that received the recalled olives. The recall notice states that 69 retailers received the product.

Consumers can determine whether they have the recalled product by checking the 3.1-pound plastic packages for UPC number 9393605697.

“Retailers who have purchased the Arla Apetina Marinated Feta & Olives in Oil, Pitted product from these two distribution centers should remove any remaining product from the supply chain and discard the product in a manner that would prevent its consumption or distribution and contact their UNFI account managers for a full refund,” according to the recall notice. 

Consumers with questions may contact the company at 800-451-2525.

About botulism poisoning
Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products 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 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 or 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.

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