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Lipari Sunflower Seed Recall Issued Due to Listeria Risk

A recall has been issued for raw sunflower seeds and snack mixes after random sampling discovered the presence of Listeria monocytogenes, which could pose a serious and potentially life-threatening health risk for consumers.  

A Lipari Foods sunflower seeds recall was announced on June 12, after the Michigan Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of listeria within the raw sunflower seeds, roasted sunflower seeds and snack mixes containing sunflower seeds.

The recall affects 52 items that potentially could have been cross contaminated during the production process.

Although no incidents of listeria food poisoning have been linked to the sunflower seeds and snacks, consumers are being urged to dispose of any packages containing Lipari sunflower seeds. A full list of affected products is available at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Safety/Recalls/UCM356627.pdf

The potentially contaminated seeds and snack mixes were manufactured by Lipari Foods of Warren Michigan and distributed to other various manufacturers and retailers from April 5, 2013 to June 11, 2013 to the following states: Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana.

Lipari Foods’ investigation further revealed the contamination came from a shipment of bulk raw sunflower seeds from a supplier. The seeds were used throughout a variety of their products and may have come in contact with others, raising the risk of cross contamination. The company is recalling all of the possibly affected products out of abundance of caution and has ceased processing and distribution of the seeds and snacks.

About 2,500 cases of Listeriosis are reported in the United States every year, according to federal health officials, with about 500 cases typically result in death. Pregnant women are 20 times more likely to be affected than healthy adults and infection may also cause miscarriages and stillbirths. Listeria may also cause serious and sometimes fatal infections to those with weakened immune systems such as children and the elderly.

Symptoms of Listeriosis may include nausea, muscle ache, diarrhea, fever, and fatigue. In severe cases, the infection could spread through the bloodstream to the nervous system.

Consumers should check if the Lipari sunflower seeds or snacks in their possession are on the recall list. If they are affected by the recall they should dispose of them. Consumers with questions may also contact Lipari Foods during regular business hours at (586) 447-3500.

Photo Courtesy of oatsy40 via Flickr CC 2.0

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