About 3,000 cases of ice pops sold in 15 states have been voluntarily recalled by a West Virginia-based company after state inspectors found they could potentially be contaminated with Listeria.
The Ziegenfelder Company has recalled cases of Budget $aver Cherry Pineapple Monster Pops and Sugar Free Twin Pops and temporarily closed a production plant to investigate after a routine inspection of their Denver facility found Listeria monocytogenes, according to a notice by the Food and Drug Administration posted on Monday.
Listeria can cause fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea in healthy people, and is especially dangerous for pregnant women, newborns, people with weakened immune systems and adults over 65. It can cause miscarriages and infect newborns, and also cause bloodstream infections and fatal bacterial meningitis.
An estimated 1,600 people get listeriosis each year and about 260 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The bacteria thrive in the cold, so freezing does not kill Listeria, and it can last for years.
Only cooking or pasteurization kills the bacteria, but it can still get into cooked food during the packaging process.
Consumers are urged to return the ice pops to the place where they bought them for a full refund. The ice pops were sold to grocery stores and distributors in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming during the period from April 5-19.
• The Cherry Pineapple Monster Pops carry the UPC code 0-74534-84200-9, and have lot codes D09418A through D10018B.
• The Sugar Free Pops carry the UPC code 0-74534-75642-9, and have lot codes D09318A through D10018B.
The FDA noted that no illnesses related to the ice pops have been reported. It can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms to develop, so the FDA recommends that anyone who has eaten the recalled ice pops should monitor themselves for symptoms.
The recall of the ice pops comes three months after Panera Bread recalled cream cheese products in all of its U.S. stores over possible Listeria contamination. A 2011 Listeria outbreak traced to a pair of cantaloupe farmers killed 33 people.