Some Kroger Packaged Vegetables Are Being Recalled. Here's What You Need To Know

GHGA, a company that supplies ready-to-eat vegetable products to Kroger supermarkets, recently issued a recall encompassing 25 prepared foods ranging from skewered vegetable kebabs and diced onions to fresh salsa and guacamole. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the recall, issued on September 20, comes after the company was notified on September 16 that a routine test of a single food sample had produced positive results for the presence of listeria monocytogenes (via TDPel Media).

The recalled products were packaged in clear plastic containers and delivered to Kroger markets in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina on September 11. The sell-by date expired before the recall notice, and the remaining products have been removed from store shelves, but consumers are advised to check their pantries for sell-by dates and lot numbers matching the full list of products posted in a notice on the FDA website. Products matching the recall list should be discarded or returned to the store for a refund (via Thrillist). Markets Insider reports that GHGA has not received any reports of illnesses linked to the recalled products.

The food-borne bacteria behind the recall

According to a report by NBC News, listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne bacteria that can cause an infection known as listeriosis. Usually found in soil and water, it can transfer to animals and produce and ultimately into food products consumed by humans. And it's tricky. The NBC News report points out that, unlike other food-borne pathogens, listeria monocytogenes can thrive in varied environments, meaning the bacteria can infect everything from smoked and deli meats to raw vegetables and unpasteurized milk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that listeria monocytogenes infect approximately 1,600 people in the United States annually. Of those, about 30% are asymptomatic. According to the CDC, people who experience symptoms usually report feelings commonly associated with a stomach bug, including fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea. More serious symptoms — headaches, stiff neck, confusion, balance issues, and convulsions — occur if the infection spreads to the nervous system. Pregnant people, newborns, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are among the most at-risk population.

Because listeria monocytogenes spread relatively easily, NBC News suggests follow-up measures, including using soap and hot water to wash all surfaces that may have been in contact with the recalled product.