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If you have these vegetables in your fridge, throw them away now

Published Jan 18th, 2021 2:20PM EST
food recall
Image: Brent Hofacker/Adobe

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  • Publix, one of the most popular grocery store chains in the United States, has issued a recall of three different varieties of prepared vegetables.
  • Publix-branded “Steam In Bag” veggies are being recalled due to the suspected presence of Listeria, a nasty bacteria that can cause serious health effects if someone is infected.
  • Customers are urged to discard the products or return them to the store where they were purchased for a full refund.

It wasn’t long ago that preparing a nice vegetable medley meant either stocking up on fresh produce or thawing out several bags of frostbitten plants from your freezer. These days, steamer bags are all the rage. Just toss them in the microwave and five minutes later you’ve got a piping hot side dish ready to be devoured. That is, unless that side dish is contaminated with bacteria.

If you’re a Publix shopper that recently picked up some of the store chain’s own brand of “Steam In Bag” products, you’re going to want to double-check the labels and make sure none of your food is subject to a new recall. The recall affects three different types of veggie bags, and the company fears that they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a nasty bacteria.

According to the official recall bulletin posted by Publix, Steam In Bags containing butternut squash are the ones that are affected by the recall. That includes green bean butternut squash, season butternut medley, and butternut brussel pecan varieties. The products were sold in Publix stores between January 3rd and January 14th.

The recall bulletin reads as follows:

Pero Family Farms Food Company, LLC initiated a voluntary product recall of its Butternut Squash Trays because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria Monocytogenes, an organism which 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 fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

A Listeria infection can be very serious. As the company notes, the risks are significantly greater for individuals that may have weakened immune systems, older individuals, and young children. One of the major issues is that Listeria produces symptoms that are oftentimes nonspecific, such as headache and nausea. Someone might not suspect that their symptoms were caused by the food they ate, and may not seek medical attention until their symptoms worsen.

The company is asking that anyone who purchased any of these products return them to the store for a full refund. Alternatively, if a refund isn’t a concern for you, you could also just dispose of the food (without opening it) and come up with a different side dish for dinner tonight.

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