Nasty Bug In Walmart Veggies In These 9 States

These Walmart vegetables recalled for Listeria risk

| Food Safety News, Feb 27, 2019: Southern Specialities Inc. has issued a recall notice for some of its Marketside bagged fresh green beans and pre-cut butternut squash because of possible contamination with Listeria bacteria. Marketside is one of Walmart’s brands.

“Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. An estimated 1,600 people get listeriosis each year, and about 260 die. The infection is most likely to sicken pregnant women and their newborns, adults aged 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems.” – CDC

The produce company’s recall notice says it is unknown whether any of the implicated vegetables reached retail shelves.

Southern Specialties shipped the bags of green beans and pre-cut butternut squash to one retail distribution center, according to the recall notice. The notice does not specifically reference Walmart, which owns the Marketside brand.

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The produce company reported to the FDA that most of the bagged vegetables were retrieved before distribution to retail stores. However, some product shipped on Feb. 17 “may have reached stores” in these states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia

“Listeria monocytogenes is commonly found in soil, stream water, sewage, plants, and food. Listeria is responsible for listeriosis, a rare but potentially lethal foodborne illness. The case fatality rate for those with a severe form of infection may approach 25%.” – Wikipedia

According to the recall notice provided to the Food and Drug Administration:

“This recall was voluntarily issued after a raw material supplier notified the company (Southern Specialities) that it was issuing a recall after a routine test of a food contact surface tested positive for the bacterium. As a precautionary measure, Southern Specialties is recalling all products that were repacked at its facility on the same repacking line as the supplier’s product”

“Anyone who has the recalled product should not consume it and either destroy it or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.”

[Crazy idea: what if food growers and processors conducted their “routine tests” BEFORE shipping their products? Just a thought. – Editor]

Consumers can use the following information to determine whether they have any of the recalled produce in their homes.

As of the posting of the recall, Southern Specialties had not been informed of any illnesses associated with the implicated green beans or butternut squash.

None of the products have tested positive, according to the company. Why Foodborne Illness Is Now Epidemic

Consumers with questions can contact Southern Specialities at 954-876-2453 or visit


Listeria signs and symptoms

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections, according to public health officials. Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about the possible Listeria exposure.

Also, anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop. 

Symptoms of Listeria infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Specific laboratory tests are required to diagnose Listeria infections, which can mimic other illnesses. 

Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people such as cancer patients who have weakened immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illnesses, life-threatening infections and other complications.

Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, their infections can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.

Republished with permission of Food Safety News. To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.