Simply Potatoes Recall: Listeria Risk for Frozen Potatoes and Hash Browns

Northern Star Co. has announced a frozen potatoes recall for Simply Potatoes hash browns, homestyle slices and red potato wedges, as well as Dinners Choice and Farm Fresh shredded hash browns. The bags of frozen potatoes may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, which could produce listeriosis symptoms.

The recalled potatoes were sold throughout the United States at Food Lion, Albertsons, Harris Teeter, Giant, Kroger, Safeway, Publix, Stop Shop & Save, Wegmans, Winn Dixie and Walmart stores. All of the potentially tainted potatoes have a “use by” date between March 29, 2009 and April 3, 2009.

The Simply Potatoes recall was announced in a statement released by Northern Star Co. on February 20, 2009.

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The following products are affected:

  • 20 oz. bags of Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns (UPC code 20169-22233)
  • 20 oz. bags of Simply Potatoes Southwest Style Hash Browns (UPC code 20169-22236)
  • 20 oz. bags of Simply Potatoes Homestyle Slices (UPC code 20169-22237)
  • 20 oz. bags of Simply Potatoes Red Potato Wedges (UPC code 20169-22238)
  • 2 oz. bags of Diners Choice Shredded Hash Browns (UPC code 20169-22223)
  • 16 oz. bags of Farm Fresh Shredded Hash Browns (UPC code 20169-22533)

The FDA has indicated that the frozen potato bags are “not ready to eat”, meaning that consumers need to cook them thoroughly to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit for two minutes kill any Listeria bacteria. However, Northern Star Co. is also offering a full refund or replacement at the store where the potatoes were purchased.

According to the manufacturer, they are not aware of any illnesses or cases of food poisoning that have developed as a result of the potatoes.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause a rare but serious disease known as Listeriosis, with symptoms like diarrhea, muscle ache, fever and nausea. People with high-risk profiles for Listeriosis include pregnant women, HIV and chemotherapy patients, newborns and the elderly.

In severe cases, the bacteria may enter the nervous system, causing a stiff neck, headaches and convulsions. Listeria food poisoning during pregnancy may result in premature deliveries, miscarriages, stillbirths, or infected newborns.

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14 Comments

  • JenniferJune 5, 2022 at 3:39 pm

    Opened a bag of the Simply diced potatoes this morning, cooked them, took one bite and thought it tasted funny but thought I may be imagining it. Ate a few more bites and thought it was funky so I went back to the bag and smelled it and it smelled awful! Definitely a chemical smell! I was so frightened because my son also had a few bites and I called poison control. They said it is probably fine b[Show More]Opened a bag of the Simply diced potatoes this morning, cooked them, took one bite and thought it tasted funny but thought I may be imagining it. Ate a few more bites and thought it was funky so I went back to the bag and smelled it and it smelled awful! Definitely a chemical smell! I was so frightened because my son also had a few bites and I called poison control. They said it is probably fine but to watch for symptoms and to call the store. We better not get sick!

  • JoanApril 9, 2022 at 11:20 am

    Opened bag of shredded potatoes today and smelt like chlorine bleach. Had a brown grayish color and smelt awful. Since it was a Saturday I left a message at the phone number listed on the bag with all the product codes. We did not eat it. So awful smelling. Very upsetting. Notified store purchased from. Waiting to hear back from the company.

  • JulieDecember 29, 2021 at 11:47 am

    I open this bag this morning and i thought it smelled like hair perm.Really very odd chemical smell so I thought it was my imagination and I ate it anyways.I sure hope I dont get sick.I dont even know why I ate some of it it was so gross.I covered it with cheese and season and I still couldn't finish it.I thought it was all in my head until I read these comments.

  • DeeSeptember 1, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    My nose is pretty sensitive to smells & 1st time smelling ammonia when cooking Simply Potatoes. They were unrefrigerated for a half hour ride home and perhaps my fault. Mentioning because I wonder if others had same storage b4 cooking? Makes sense this could engage spoilage. I bought on a whim & so didnt have the cooler in my car.

  • SuannSeptember 27, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Same story here! Open the bag thought they smelled funny but cook them anyway. Then they begin to smell like ammonia. Took one bite and spit it out!

  • ScottAugust 14, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    This is a 10 year old post and I just ope ed a bag of diced simply potatoes and onions smelled like pure ammonia

  • Rayvan59@aol.comDecember 24, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    I opened a bag on the 7th december they smelled like ammonia. Ate them any way after cooking. I was sick on vacation for the whole week. I opened the other bag today December 24 2019 they also smelled like ammonia t threw them out after eating a fork or two.. upc code2016922233. Exp date jan 22, 2020. Had headache muscle ache , chills diarrhea fever . Wound up at my Dr. He gave me antibiotics [Show More]I opened a bag on the 7th december they smelled like ammonia. Ate them any way after cooking. I was sick on vacation for the whole week. I opened the other bag today December 24 2019 they also smelled like ammonia t threw them out after eating a fork or two.. upc code2016922233. Exp date jan 22, 2020. Had headache muscle ache , chills diarrhea fever . Wound up at my Dr. He gave me antibiotics for the last week. Never dawned on me till just now to check for recall.

  • RyanDecember 2, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Opened a bag of plain shredded hashbrowns last night dated 1-19-20, reaked of amonia and there was a black hair in the bag!!! Disgusting!! Looks like others have had this issue this past month. AVOID this brand!

  • patrickNovember 14, 2019 at 5:36 am

    Just tried cooking a bag of Simply Potatoes Hash Browns after thawing. Emptied the bag into the pan, and noticed that part of the potatoes were gray-brown in color... awful ammonia smell - had to throw them out! Looks like quality-control with this company is severely lacking!

  • DesireeNovember 7, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    After frying up some of the Diced (raw) potatoes with onions and Initial consumption. I felt I was eating floor cleaner. Exp date 11-94-19. I looked up to see if a chemical was used to preserve these potatoes and ran into this site. NOT GoOD!!

  • DianeSeptember 27, 2019 at 12:27 am

    Myself, my daughter and son-in-law all ate Simply Potatoes Mashed Potatoes from the refridgerator case at the Acme. All 3 of us noticed sour taste, strong vinegar or chemical smell. Now we all are experiencing burning in our throats and feel ill.

  • BiancaJanuary 16, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    These has browns smelt like ammonia after cooking them

  • Betty AFebruary 9, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    OPEN BAG THIS MORNING, VERY BAD CHEMICAL SMELL. CHECKED ONLINE FOR RECALL. HERE I AM. THE SMELL IS JUST AWFUL.

  • SharonAugust 18, 2010 at 12:45 am

    After a year they seem to be still having issues. I went to use a package of the Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns UPC 20169-22233. I had pork chops and mushrooms cooking in the frying pan - opened the package and poured half the bag into the frying pan on top of the other ingredients. I noticed some green mold on a clump of potatoes about one inch in diameter, further checking there was mol[Show More]After a year they seem to be still having issues. I went to use a package of the Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns UPC 20169-22233. I had pork chops and mushrooms cooking in the frying pan - opened the package and poured half the bag into the frying pan on top of the other ingredients. I noticed some green mold on a clump of potatoes about one inch in diameter, further checking there was mold on other pieces in the frying pan - the entire meal had to be thrown out. I checked the rest of the package and it was filled with green and white mold. I called Michaels Food left a message and awaiting for them to call me back - during normal business hours. I took pictures.... I

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