Listeria Scare: Bad Spinach Has Amy’s Kitchen and Wegmans Issuing Voluntary Recalls
Listeria monocytogenes is no joke. The bacteria may not be as well known as other foodborne pathogens like E. coli or salmonella, but a Listeriosis infection can be just as devastating—especially for pregnant women, children, and people with weakened immune systems. So after learning that organic spinach supplier Twin City Foods may have delivered shipments contaminated with Listeria, brands like supermarket Wegmans and organic frozen ready meal manufacturer Amy’s Kitchen have issued massive voluntary recalls on potentially contaminated products.
Amy’s Kitchen Inc. is getting the most attention right now for its massive recall of 73,897 cases of product that used the potentially contaminated organic spinach. 19 individual items are involved in the recall including (but not limited to) Amy’s Garden Vegetable Lasagna, Spinach Pizza, Enchilada Verde meals, and several types of tofu scramble. In its FDA recall notice, Amy’s representatives urge consumers to throw away any products subject to recall or to return them to the point of purchase for a refund. Check out the recall announcement for a full list of affected UPCs and manufacturing dates.
Wegmans and Hart’s Local Grocers have meanwhile issued recalls on a much smaller amount of affected product, particularly the 12oz package of Wegmans Organic "Food You Feel Good About Just Picked Spinach."
Promisingly, there haven’t been any cases yet of consumers coming down with Listeria that can be traced back to Amy’s Kitchen products or any other products from companies using the same organic spinach supplier. But the recall is nonetheless warranted—Listeria can be fatal in more vulnerable victims. Any time the threat of Listeria contamination pops up, it’s far better to be proactive than risk an outbreak.
In the meantime it’s a reminder that even organically grown fruits and vegetables, often held in higher regard in terms of safety, still come with pathogen risks just like any other produce, especially as they travel along the supply chain from the farm to the food processors and markets. Safety and accountability are necessary at all points along the supply chain, from start to finish.