Feb. 6, 2012 -- Listeria contamination of hard-cooked eggs has led to recalls of prepared salads, sandwiches, and other products in 34 states.
So far, no illnesses have been reported. The listeria contamination was detected in lab tests run on hard-cooked eggs from Michael Foods' Wakefield, Neb., plant. The firm says the contamination was linked to a "specific repair project that took place in the processing room."
Michael Foods, based in Minnesota, does not sell the foods directly to retail customers. But the recalled 10- and 25-pound pails of cooked, peeled eggs were widely distributed to many types of food service companies in 34 states.
An initial lot of the eggs was recalled on Jan. 26. The recall expanded to eggs sold under six brand names -- Columbia Valley Farms, GFS, Glenview Farms, Papetti’s, Silverbrook, and Wholesome Farms -- bearing lot codes of 1 LOT 1350W through 1 LOT 2025W and expiration dates ranging from 1/30/2012 to 3/10/2012.
The eggs were sold to food distributors and manufacturers in 34 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. It's not yet clear whether any of these distributors sold the products beyond these states.
A few food service establishments and distributors have made specific recalls.
In California, GH Foods CA has recalled products from Walgreens retail stores:
- DeLish brand Egg Salad on HoneyWheat Sandwich, UPC code 0.49022-51925.1, enjoy-by date 1/17/12 through 2/5/12
- DeLish brand Tuna Salad on Multigrain Bread Sandwich, UPC code 0.49022-51928.2, enjoy-by date 1/22/12 through 2/5/12
Wegmans Food Markets has recalled products -- all sold by the pound or on the Fresh Foods Bar -- from its Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Canandaigua, Newark, Geneva, Corning, Elmira, Geneseo, and Hornell stores:
- Eggs (special-order deli tray or six pack, 12 pack)
- Cobb Salad (10 oz., 43 oz., and 6.5 lb.)
- Garden Salad (10 oz., 20 oz., 2 lb., and 5 lb.)
- Baby Spinach Salad (9 oz., 1.8 lb., and 3.9 lb.)
- Chef Salad (9 oz. and 18 oz.)
- Egg Salad (sold by the pound in prepared foods)
- Egg Salad Sub (Sub Shop)
- Kosher Macaroni Salad (sold by the pound in kosher deli)
- Kosher Pickled Eggs (sold by the pound in kosher deli)
In Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee, Greencore USA has recalled:
- 7.66 oz. Take Away Café Egg Salad Sandwiches with the sell-by date of 1/25/12 through 2/7/12. Barcode UPC : 745466128195
- 5.68 oz. Quick Café Egg Salad Wedge with an enjoy-by-date of 1/22/12 through 2/4/12. Barcode UPC: 073508830042
If you have eaten foods suspected of listeria contamination, be aware of the symptoms of listeria illness, known as listeriosis.
Listeriosis symptoms can appear anywhere from three days to two months after eating contaminated food. They include fever and muscle aches, and may also include stiff neck, headache, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions.
Despite the current outbreaks, listeriosis remains an uncommon illness. But it's very serious. Listeriosis is fatal in about 20% of cases.
Listeria rarely causes serious disease in healthy people. However, some people are at greatly increased risk. These include:
- Older adults
- Pregnant women
- Transplant recipients or others taking immunity-suppressing medicines
- People with diabetes, HIV, or other diseases that weaken immunity