Orange Cream Bar Recall due to Listeria

Orange Cream bars sold under the Meijer/Purple Cow label are being recalled due to the possibility of product contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.  Meijer Purple Cow brand Orange Cream bars are being recalled in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  Tops brand Orange Cream bars sold in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Vermont are under the same recall.  The Product was manufactured at a facility in Dunkirk, New York and has a ‘best by’ date of November/December 2018.  The product comes in a 12-count retail box.

Listeria monocytogenes is the third leading cause of death from food poisoning in the United States.  These foodborne bacteria can grow at refrigerator temperatures and can cause an illness in most healthy people that is unpleasant but not serious.  But in people who are at high risk, such as young children, the elderly, pregnant women and their unborn babies, and other persons with weakened immune systems, illness from Listeria monocytogenes can cause an illness called listeriosis that can be severe and may even lead to death.

While a pregnant woman may have only a mild, flu-like illness, or may not feel sick at all, listeriosis can lead to miscarriage, death of the unborn baby, a low-birth weight infant, health problems for the newborn, or even infant death.  That’s why reducing risks from Listeria is so important.

What are the symptoms of listeriosis?  According to the Centers for Disease Control, listeriosis can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the person and the part of the body affected.  Listeria can cause fever and diarrhea similar to other food-borne germs, but this type of Listeria infection is rarely diagnosed.  Symptoms in people with invasive listeriosis, meaning the bacteria has spread beyond the gut, depend on whether the person is pregnant.

  • Pregnant women: Pregnant women typically experience only fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle aches.  However, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
  • People other than pregnant women: Symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.

People with invasive listeriosis usually report symptoms starting 1 to 4 weeks after eating food contaminated with Listeria; some people have reported symptoms starting as late as 70 days after exposure or as early as the same day of exposure.  Be sure to check your freezer and dispose of any product affected by this recall.  Stay food safe!

Authored by: Barb Ingham, 608-263-7383, bhingham@wisc.edu
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