Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Food Recall: Canned Green Beans May Cause Food Poisoning

In a nutshell: Canned green beans may be contaminated causing fatal food poisoning.

December 21, 2007–New Era Canning Company of New Era, Michigan is voluntarily recalling 171 cases/ 6 cans per case of 6 lbs. 5 oz. GFS Fancy Blue Lake Cut Green Beans, 4 Sieve, lot code 19H7FL , because they may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death from botulism. Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled.

Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, can cause the following symptoms:  general weakness, dizziness, double-vision, and trouble speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation may also be common symptoms.  People experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.  The incubation period can be 2 hours to 2 weeks; in most cases the symptoms appear after 12 to 24 hours.

The canned green beans were distributed to foodservice customers in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia and sold through GFS Marketplace stores in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

The canned green beans are packaged in 6 lbs. 5 oz. cans under the GFS brand (GFS reorder #118737; UPC  93901 11873) with lot code 19H7FL printed on the end of the can.  No other reorder numbers or lots are included in this recall.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The potential contamination of the product was found through testing by the Food and Drug Administration.  New Era Canning in conjunction with the US Food and Drug Administration and the Michigan Department of Agriculture is thoroughly evaluating all processes and procedures to determine the cause of the problem.

Any food that may be contaminated should be disposed of carefully. Even tiny amounts of toxins ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the eye or a break in the skin can cause serious illness. Skin contact should be avoided as much as possible, and the hands should be washed immediately after handling the food.   Customers should not be encouraged to return product to Gordon Food Service. 

Customers who have the product or any foods made with these products should throw them away immediately. Double bag the cans in plastic bags that are tightly closed then place in a trash receptacle for non-recyclable trash outside of the home.  Restaurants and institutions are encouraged to assure that such products are only placed in locked receptacles which are not accessible to the public. Additional instructions for safe disposal can be found at www.cdc.gov/botulism/botulism_faq.htm.

Anyone with questions can call FDA at 1-888-SAFEFOOD.

Customers with questions may contact New Era Canning at 1-800-282-9007 Ext. 111.

Karyn Zoldan
karyn

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