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Urgent frozen food recall: Check your freezer for these contaminated veggies

Published Feb 20th, 2022 10:30AM EST
Diced green pepper on a cutting board with a container of tomatoes in the background
Image: MSPhotographic/Adobe

If you have frozen bags of diced green peppers in your freezer, you’d better inspect the packages to make sure they’re part of a recent Giant Eagle recall. The company is recalling certain frozen diced green peppers products due to a potential risk of Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

The bacteria can lead to severe illness in certain people, so you should avoid consuming the Giant Eagle products in the recall. Listeria can survive freezing temperatures, and the contaminated food will not smell or look spoiled.

Giant Eagle frozen diced green peppers recall

There’s not one but two Giant Eagle recalls for frozen diced green peppers you should be aware of. FoodSafetyNews reported the one concerning packages of peppers with “Best By” dates of 10/14/2023. Separately, FoodPoisoningBulletin identified two separate recalls for the same product, including the frozen green peppers that expire in late 2023.

According to the second report, the Giant Eagle announcements are not listed on the main US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalls portal. Also, they don’t appear on the Giant Eagle recalls page. However, you can find both of them on the FDA’s Enforcement Report page.

Both announcements cite contamination with the same bacteria as being responsible for the frozen green pepper recalls.

The first one concerns bags that expires on 10/14/2023. Giant Eagle initiated the recall on November 29th, 2021, according to the Enforcement Report. The company has recalled 699 cases, each containing 12 packages. Each package weighs 10 oz. (283g). The UPC isn’t available for the products, so you should be looking for the expiration date on the package.

Per FoodSafetyNews the company has sold this version of frozen diced green peppers in Giant Supermarkets in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana. The FDA page indicates this recall has been completed.

The second recall is still ongoing, having been filed on November 30th, 2021. It concerns a much larger quantity of diced green peppers. We’re looking at 20,825 pounds of peppers that might have been contaminated with Listeria. You should be looking for the following codes and expirations dates to determine if your bags come from the recalled batches:

  • R16372 exp. 03/12/2023
  • R16514 exp. 09/30/2022
  • R17422 exp. 01/21/2023
  • R17117 exp.. 08/12/2023
  • R17133 exp. 04/14/2023
  • R18388 exp. 10/14/2023

Product images aren’t available in the brief FDA documentation.

Listeria infection

Eating contaminated products like the recalled frozen green peppers can lead to a case of listeriosis. That’s an infection with Listeria that can be fatal to some people.

Healthy individuals rarely become severely ill, with common symptoms including fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea. They can appear a few days after eating contaminated products, but it can take up to 30 days or more for the infection to begin, per the Mayo Clinic.

If the infection spreads to the nervous system, you might experience headaches, a stiff neck, confusion or changes in alertness, loss of balance, and convulsions.

Listeria is more dangerous to frail and elderly people, young children, and pregnant women. The latter risk miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery, and newborn infection.

Since the symptoms of listeriosis can be confused with a different illness, you’ll need to undergo specific testing for a correct diagnosis.

What you should do

If you still own Giant Eagle frozen diced green peppers from the recalled lots, you should throw them away immediately. Consuming the product is risky and can lead to illness. It’s unclear at this time if there were any cases of listeriosis following the consumption of frozen diced green peppers from the two recall actions.

If you think you’ve experienced symptoms suggesting a Listeria infection after eating these green peppers, you should consider seeing a doctor.

You can also contact nearby Giant Supermarkets to learn more details about the recall. You can also visit the FDA’s Enforcement Report page. The first recall notice is available at this link, and the second is here.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.