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National Restaurant Association - FDA issues safety tips after outbreak linked to frozen veggies

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FDA issues safety tips after outbreak linked to frozen veggies

The Food and Drug Administration is advising restaurateurs to check out their frozen vegetables to see if they bought or stored any products linked to a recent multistate Listeria outbreak.

The frozen food linked to the outbreak, identified as organic white sweet cut corn and organic petite green peas, is part of the True Goodness by Meijer brand. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has so far reported that eight people in three states – California, Maryland and Washington ‑ were infected between September 2013 and March 2016.

The FDA notes that Listeria can grow at refrigeration temperatures in foods, and can cross-contaminate other foods cut and served on the same cutting board or served in the same area. The agency offers the following tips for restaurateurs and retailers:

  • Dispose of and do not serve any of the recalled products. If you do not know the source of your frozen vegetable products, check with your supplier.
     
  • Consider whether other foods were cross-contaminated by the affected items and should also be discarded.
     
  • Wash and sanitize your display cases and refrigerators where potentially contaminated products were stored.
     
  • Wash and sanitize cutting boards, surfaces and utensils used to cut, serve or store potentially contaminated products.
     
  • Regular, frequent cleaning and sanitizing of cutting boards and utensils used in processing may help minimize the likelihood of cross-contamination.
     
  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.
     
  • If you’ve processed and packaged any potentially contaminated products you need to be concerned about cross-contamination of your cutting surfaces and utensils.
     
  • Any firms that have relabeled, repacked or used the recalled products to produce new products and have not received a thermal kill step should contact the state FDA Recall coordinator to determine whether or not you should initiate a new recall of your product.

Visit the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe program for more information on food-safety practices in the restaurant industry

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