Salads containing corn have been recalled at several major grocery stores this week—including Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and 7-Eleven—due to possible contamination with listeria and/or salmonella bacteria. The problem was discovered on Tuesday when GH Foods CA, LLC received word that their corn supplier was recalling its corn over listeria and salmonella fears, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
The products affected by the recall include 365 By Whole Foods Market BBQ Style Chopped Salad With Chicken and 365 By Whole Foods Market Chicken Fajita Salad, both with "best by" dates between October 17 and October 20, 2018, as well as GH Foods CA's Santa Fe Style Salad With Chicken ("best by" dates between October 17 and October 18) and six-pound bagged BBQ Style Salad Kit With White Chicken ("best by" dates between October 17 and October 20). These items were only shipped to stores in California.
The issue also apparently affects three types of prepackaged salads sold at Trader Joe's in certain states, according to a press release from the company. Specifically, it includes Trader Jose's Mexicali Inspired Salad (sold in Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington) as well as Trader Joe's BBQ Flavored Chicken Salad and Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken Breast (both sold in Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas). All of the affected salads have "best by" dates between October 15 and October 20, 2018.
Additionally, FSIS posted similar recall notices about salads sold at 7-Eleven stores in Texas and others produced by GHSE, LLC, which were sold at retail locations in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
To date, there haven't been any confirmed illnesses reported in relation to any of the recalled foods.
The symptoms of listeria and salmonella may be similar—and similarly unpleasant.
Both listeria and salmonella are bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illnesses, but in both cases, otherwise healthy adults rarely experience severe symptoms. The symptoms of a listeria infection usually start a few days after ingesting the contaminated food, but they can show up even a month later. And, according to the Mayo Clinic, those symptoms may include:
- Muscle aches
The most worrying listeria-related issues are those that appear when the infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract, which are most common among those people who are pregnant and those with weakened immune systems. As the FSIS notes, severe listeria infections may pose a risk for premature delivery, miscarriage, and stillbirth.
When it comes to a salmonella infection, as SELF wrote previously, you'll probably start to feel symptoms between 12 and 72 hours after becoming infected. The symptoms of a salmonella infection can include:
- Diarrhea (sometimes with blood in your stool)
- Abdominal cramps
As long as you're able to rest and stay hydrated, most healthy adults are able to recover from a salmonella infection without serious issues in about a week. But young children, people who are elderly, and those with weakened immune systems may be more likely to experience complications.
If you've purchased any of the affected salads, don't eat them. And check in with your doctor if you start to feel sick.
Although most of us can handle a minor salmonella or listeria infection, it's important to know what you're actually dealing with. And if you happen to be pregnant, it's crucial that you talk to your doctor if you start to feel sick because there's a potential for serious issues.
The companies all say that the affected salads have been removed from stores, but consumers may have already purchased them and could have them at home. So the FSIS urges everyone to check what they've brought and, if necessary, either throw it out or return it to where they bought it for a refund.