The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a Food Safety Alert for ready-made hard-boiled eggs due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Following the initial alert, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an expansion of the recall to include additional products manufactured by Almark Foods at the company’s Gainesville, Georgia facility.

According to the CDC stats, the outbreak initially caused seven cases of Listeria in five states. According to the FDA’s website, “A more recent FDA sample from the facility also matched the outbreak strain, suggesting the possibility that the strain may have remained present in the facility.”

The eggs, produced by Almark Foods of Gainesville, Georgia were packaged in plastic pails for use by food service operators. The eggs were sold to retailers, and not directly to consumers. This means consumers may not know if the eggs in products they’ve purchased are contaminated. Given the new information from the FDA, Almark voluntarily expanded the recall to include all hard-boiled egg products packaged for retail made by the Gainesville plant.

The current recall includes all eggs with “Best If Used By” dates through Mar. 2, 2020. The product used by dates have a “G” prefix, indicating that the eggs were packaged in the Gainesville, Georgia facility. For a full list of recalled products, visit the FDA’s website here. The FDA has also issued additional recall alerts for retailers, such as Trader Joe’s, for products that may contain the affected eggs.

Listeria can cause fever and flu-like symptoms in pregnant women. The bacteria can also lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery or a potentially life-threatening infection in newborns. It can also cause headache, stiff neck, loss of balance, convulsions, fever, muscle aches or confusion in otherwise healthy children and adults. Symptoms often appear within one to four weeks after eating the contaminated food. This infection is treatable with antibiotics—making it important to contact your medical provider immediately.

The CDC had advised retailers and food service operators to stop using the peeled, hard-boiled eggs and wash/sanitize surfaces that may have come into contact with the eggs. If you have concerns about where a product’s hard-boiled eggs came from, ask the retailer to verify they were not produced by Almark Foods. If the retailer doesn’t know, skip the egg-containing product entirely.

—Erica Loop

Featured photo: Mona Sabha Cabrera via Pexels

 

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