If you pick up your frozen vegetables at Walmart or Target, check your freezer. National Frozen Foods Corp., the company behind the brands Bountiful Harvest, First Street, and Great Value, has announced a recall of frozen green peas and mixed vegetables distributed between Sept. 2, 2015, through June 2, 2016, which may be contaminated by listeria.
The recall follows a routine sample testing in which the National Frozen Foods Corp. discovered that some of its products might be contaminated by the listeria bacteria, the company says. So far there are no reported illnesses linked to the recall. Those with a healthy immune system might experience no symptoms or those characteristic of an aggressive cold: severe headaches, nausea, high fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. In fact, if you’ve already eaten contaminated food, you’re probably fine. But you should definitely still ditch the products if you have them. While a run-of-the-mill experience with listeria is unpleasant, it’s downright deadly in people with a weakened immune system, which, in addition to anyone who is sick, includes children, the elderly, and pregnant women.
Live Smart mixed vegetables and Great Value sweet peas are only some of the recalled products. Here’s a full list of the affected products—which, if you have any, you should toss. If you think you’re safe because you’ve kept your goods frozen for a few weeks, think again. Listeria can grow in your refrigerator or freezer. And the fact that so many of these products are frozen means they might be out of sight and out of mind for many consumers: The “best used by” dates of the 37 products recalled reach out as far as Nov. 11, 2017.
This is the second listeria-related food recall this year, although it is nowhere near as large as the one by CRF Frozen Foods last month. That one was spurred by people being hospitalized for illnesses they experienced after eating bacteria-laden produce.* According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s estimated that 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths occur annually due to listeria. Although listeriosis is less common than other foodborne-related illnesses, it’s far more deadly.
*Correction, June 22, 2016: This post originally misstated that two people died as a result of infections from eating bacteria-laden produce during a recall last month. Listeriosis was not considered the cause of either death.