FDA investigates listeria outbreak after frozen food recall

A listeria outbreak that led to a massive recall of frozen fruits and vegetables is being investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to an FDA news release Thursday.

Earlier this week, CRF Frozen Foods, a Washington-based company, issued a widespread recall of frozen fruits and vegetables processed at its plant in Pasco, Wash., since May 1, 2014. The recall included 358 products under 42 separate brands, including products sold at major retailers in Chicago, such as Costco, Wal-Mart, Jewel-Osco and Trader Joe's.

Eight people from three states — California, Washington and Maryland — became infected with strains of listeria, according to the FDA, and their illnesses were linked to consumption of contaminated food produced by CRF Frozen Foods. They ranged in age from 56 to 86.

Two of those people died. CRF Frozen Foods' Pasco facility has since been shut down.

Separately, the FDA collected samples at the Oregon Potato Co., also in Pasco, Wash., in March and determined a genetic connection to the listeria found in seven of the infected people, the news release said. The Oregon Potato Co. subsequently issued a recall of its wholesale onion products, which led to other recalls from companies that use those products.

"This is a complex and ongoing investigation, and updates will be communicated as they become available," according to the FDA news release.

Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by consuming food contaminated with the microscopic organism Listeria monocytogenes, according to the CDC website. It primarily affects infants, pregnant women, elderly people and adults with weakened immune systems.

To determine whether you may have purchased the recalled items, click here for the complete list on the Food and Drug Administration website.

Consumers are advised to return the recalled items for a refund or throw them away.

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