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AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market here is recalling a store brand smoked trout product because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. As of Friday, no illnesses related to the product had been reported.
Whole Foods said in a statement it was continuing an investigation as to what may have caused the problem. The company did not return a call placed by Progressive Grocer on Friday.
Listeria is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
The product, Whole Catch Lemon Pepper Garlic Hot Smoked Trout distributed by Whole Foods, may have reached consumers via stores in the following states: California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
Whole Foods said in a statement the recall was initiated after random testing by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Food Safety. The product can be identified by a label that reads "Whole Catch Lemon Pepper Garlic Hot Smoked Trout." This item comes in an 8-ounce, green colored package with yellow and white lettering and has a UPC Code of 9948241183. The batch number is 10724701 and the sticker can typically be found on the back of the package.
Other batches and other varieties of this product are not affected by this voluntary recall.
The retailer urged consumers to return the trout to the place of purchase for a full refund. Whole Foods said it has contacted its locations holding stocks of this product and has directed store/facility team leaders to remove the product from the shelves and to destroy it until a new supply becomes available.
Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea if they are exposed to the bacteria, but Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.