Trader Joe’s is pulling several products from its shelves Wednesday over concerns of listeria contamination.
So far there are no reported cases of illness tied to the food-borne pathogen, the supermarket chain wrote in a statement, but it is urging customers to “discard the [affected] product or return it to any Trader Joe’s for a full refund.”
Their list of potentially contaminated items includes these refrigerated, prepackaged meals: California Rolls, Classic California Rolls with Brown Rice & Avocado, Spicy California Rolls, Tempura Shrimp Crunch Rolls, Tofu Spring Rolls, Shrimp Spring Rolls, Smoked Salmon Philly Roll, Smoked Salmon Poke Bowl, Banh Mi Inspired Noodle Bowl and the Queso Fundido Spicy Cheese Dip.
Last week, Trader Joe’s supplier Fuji Food Products decided to temporarily cease production amid its own food safety scare, prompting the low-price grocery chain to follow suit.
“As responsible processors of safe, fresh food for nearly 30 years, we are addressing this problem vigorously and we apologize to those who are affected by it,” said CEO Farrell Hirsch in a news release, adding that it will resume operation once the Food and Drug Administration has approved it.
Fuji Food distributes its products to a number of stores, including 7-Eleven, Walgreens, Food Lion, Hannaford, Trader Joe’s, Giant Eagle Supermarkets, Porky, Bozzuto’s, Supreme Lobster and Superior Foods.
Listeria monocytogene, which infects an estimated 1,600 people each year, is a bacterial infection typically transmitted through contaminated food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The illness can cause mild or flu-like symptoms, such as headache, stiff neck, fever, muscle aches and convulsions, but may also cause severe illness and death for some with weakened immune systems, especially newborns and unborn infants as well as those 65 and older.
Unfortunately, the bacterium is most commonly found in ready-to-eat foods, such as raw and fresh dairy products, produce and deli meats. Public health experts advise the most high-risk consumers to practice good food hygiene by carefully and thoroughly storing food in their refrigerator, and keeping leftovers for no more than three to seven days. They add that pregnant women should consider avoiding these foods altogether.