Contributor | Telegraph Local
Trader’s Joe’s recalls products over possible listeria contamination after a series of infectious foodborne diseases have swept across the US. Citing People, Trader Joe’s locations have recalled ready-to-eat sushi meals and Queso Fundido Spicy Cheese Dip. Trader Joe’s issued this recall voluntarily in an act from the company to slow-down the possible spread of listeria from these products and others.
The nine products that have been recalled are listed as follows: ready-to-eat California Rolls, Classic California Rolls with Brown Rice and Avocado, Spicy California Rolls, Tempura Shrimp Crunch Rolls, Tofu Spring Rolls, Shrimp Spring Rolls, Smoke Salmon Philly Roll, Salmon Poke Bowl, Banh Mi Inspired Noodle Bowl, and the Queso Fundido Spicy Cheese Dip. Trader Joe’s has removed all affected products from store shelves.
This was in response to the Fuji Food’s recall issued by the FDA issued on November 27, 2019.
The recall applied to the following states: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Also citing FDA, the stores which sold the products Fuji Foods has recalled other than Trader Joe’s includes the following: 7 Eleven, Walgreens, Food Lion, Hannaford, Giant Eagle Supermarkets, Porkys, Bozzutos, Supreme Lobster and Superior Foods.
The recall is on all products which have an 11-22 to 12-6-2019 sell-by date. The problem was discovered in the Fuji Foods Distribution facility in Brockton, Mass. Citing their website, Fuji Foods headquarters site is in Sante Fe Springs, California.
This listeria contamination recall follows a disturbing trend of foodborne illnesses in the US in the past two weeks. There have been hepatitis A outbreaks spanning Yakima, WA, The Midwest States, Northern States, and Florida.
Hepatitis A and listeria are both caused by ingesting food or drinks that have been in contact with fecal matter, citing Mayo Clinic. Listeria is quote “commonly contracted by eating improperly processed deli meats and unpasteurized milk products.”
The question of the week is this: is there a common denominator between the Trader Joe’s/Fuji Foods recall and all these hepatitis A outbreaks?
There is a possible connection here. For starters, many of the states where there were hepatitis A outbreaks overlap with the list of listeria outbreak sites. It is possible that the contaminated food came from fecal-matter cross-contamination in the original supply chain of all the sites impacted by the US current food-borne illness.
Then, there is the fact that some of these restaurants may have likely purchased their fresh ingredients from a grocer with contaminated food. Citing the P.F.Chang’s website, the company has a strict “farm to table” policy they call the “Food to Wok” policy. They only source fresh ingredients which means no pre-processed foods and no vacuum-sealed packaging. So, the chef on site of each location likely purchases some ingredients from local supermarkets. There is a Trader Jo’s within 7 minutes of the P.F. Chang’s in Sarasota, Fl where a worker tested positive for hepatitis A. If we were to theorize, the same supply trucks that ran the listeria contaminated groceries to Trader Jo’s may also have contained the hepatitis A products that distributed through the overlapping region without registry. The P.F. Chang’s employee may have gotten sick from the contaminated food rather than bringing that infection to the site.
At this moment, we can only theorize. Franchise policies may be different at some locations. The Telegraph Local is cross-referencing all possible connections in these foodborne illness crises. In the meantime, follow all product recalls closely.