As Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner, several foods, which might be your favorite snacks, have been pulled off the shelves in Canada this week.
Some of these recalls are due to a dangerous Listeria outbreak in the U.S.
On Friday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) pulled the Fresh Express brand Salsa! Ensalada Salad Kit from the market because it might be contaminated with Listeria. This product was available in Alberta and B.C., with expiry dates from Jan. 8, 2024, to Feb. 22, 2024.
On Thursday, CFIA pulled Rojo’s brand black bean six-layer dip from the market for the same reason. It was available in Ontario, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Quebec.
On Wednesday, a recall was announced for President’s Choice brand and Taylor Farms brand Mexican-Style Street Corn Salad Kits. These were sold all over the country, with expiration dates up to February 19, 2024.
A product called Southwest Potato, Black Bean, and Egg Wrap was also pulled from the market. It was available in hotels, restaurants, and institutions all over the country.
On Tuesday, Bauman’s Country Meat Shop brand Summer Sausages were recalled because they might be contaminated with Listeria. These were sold at Bauman’s Country Meat Shop in Dobbinton, Ontario.
Some of the recalled products contain cheese from Rizo-López Foods, Inc., the company responsible for the Listeria outbreak in the U.S. that has affected multiple states and has been ongoing since 2014.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked into the outbreak in 2017 and 2021 and found that some cheeses were the source of the outbreak. However, they didn’t have enough information to pinpoint a specific brand, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
But in January 2024, after new cases were reported in December and the FDA found Listeria in a sample from the company’s factory in Modesto, Calif., they identified Rizo-López Foods as the source.
On Monday, Rizo-López pulled more than 60 dairy products from the market in the U.S., including soft cheeses, yogurts, and sour cream sold under various brands.
They have since expanded their recall to include seven-layer bean dip, chicken enchiladas, cilantro salad dressing, and taco kits—all popular foods for Super Bowl Sunday, which is scheduled this Sunday between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.
No illnesses have been reported in Canada from these recalled products, but in the U.S., there have been 26 cases of illness, including 23 hospitalizations and two deaths.
Other foods recalled in Canada this week, not related to Listeria, include Pinty’s brand Fully Cooked Crispy Chicken Breasts sold in Ontario and Quebec, which were recalled due to metal pieces.
An OGGI brand Americana Pizza made with Beyond Meat, sold in Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Ontario, was also recalled because it contains milk, which wasn’t declared on the label.
Listeria is a type of bacteria that can live in a host like a parasite and cause a disease called listeriosis. If you eat food contaminated with Listeria, you might start feeling sick within two weeks. Symptoms can include fever, muscle pain, feeling tired, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as stated by the FDA.
If the infection gets worse, you might experience seizures, confusion, and loss of balance. Listeria can survive in a food processing plant for many years.
Jeff Farber, a food professor at the University of Guelph, said in 2021 that Listeria can become a permanent resident in a food plant. That year, at least 21 products were recalled because of Listeria.
Once Listeria sets up home inside a food plant, it’s really hard for the food industry to completely remove it, Farber explained.
Food that’s contaminated with Listeria might not look or smell bad, but it can still make you sick, warns the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
The CFIA advises not to eat any of the recalled products. They are carrying out a food safety investigation, which might result in more recalls. Initially, recalls are voluntary actions taken by the industry, but they can become compulsory.
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