Chipotle Restaurant Pepper Recall: Listeria Contamination

Nearly 42,000 lbs. of Corn and Poblano peppers sent to Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in California, Nevada and Arizona have been recalled due to fears that they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause serious and potentially life-threatening infections. 

The Chipotle peppers recall was announced by the FDA after the distributor, Pasco Processing, LLC, detected contamination during regular sample testing. Although there have been no reports of listeriosis or food poisoning from Listeria contamination, children, the elderly and those with weak immune systems may be particularly at risk. For pregnant women, illness from Listeria bacteria can also cause miscarriages and still births.

The recall affects 2,087 cases of Pasco Processing, LLC’s 20 lbs. bulk packaged Corn and Poblano peppers with product codes of 3901741007 and 3901751007. The peppers were sold to three food service distributors who then sent them to Chipotle Mexican Grill Restaurants in California, Nevada and Arizona. Listeria was not detected in any of the peppers that actually made it to the restaurants, and the remaining peppers have been removed from the restaurants and quarantined to be destroyed.

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Blood tests are usually required to diagnose Listeriosis, which can be treated with antibiotics. Symptoms of Listeriosis include muscle aches, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, severe headaches and fever. If the bacteria spreads from the intestines to the bloodstream and nervous system, it could cause meningitis and other complications.

No details were given as to how the peppers were contaminated. The peppers are used primarily in Chipotle’s spicy corn salsa.

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