Food safety

Potatoes, citrus fruit recalled over listeria concerns

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week announced a voluntary recall of red potatoes and several varieties of citrus fruits sold by a North Carolina-based company over listeria concerns.

An announcement on the FDA's website states that the items, sold by Freshouse II of Salisbury, N.C., including lemons, limes, oranges and red potatoes, could be contaminated with the listeria bacteria found during an inspection of the company's facility.

"Freshouse II, LLC of Salisbury, NC is recalling the following specific production lots, brands and weights of Valencia Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Organic Limes, and Red B Potatoes because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems," reads the company's announcement shared by the FDA.

"Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women," it continues.

"The recall was voluntarily initiated after the company's routine internal testing identified Listeria monocytogenes on a piece of equipment in one of our packing facilities. We have ceased the production and distribution of the product that was packed on the equipment in question and are taking corrective actions and continually evaluating our cleaning and sanitation regimes," the company said.

The company went on to note that no illnesses have yet been linked to the products or the recall effort. Jamey Friedman, the company's president, told CNN in a statement that the action was taken out of an abundance of caution.

"We voluntarily issued this recall out of an abundance of caution with the steadfast intent to minimize even the slightest risk to public health," said Friedman.

This is the second FDA food recall so far in August. The agency said earlier in the month that several varieties of onions sold by a California-based company would be recalled over salmonella concerns linked to an outbreak.