Vegetable recall expands, traced to packing plant in Salinas

More stores across the country are pulling vegetable products from their shelves over a possible listeria contamination. The products contain vegetables from Mann Packing based in Salinas.

At a Safeway in Santa Clara, there are growing concerns over the massive recall. Mann Packing is recalling many of its packaged vegetables due to potential contamination of listeria. Consumers are advised not to consume the product, instead discard it or return it for a full refund.

“It’s always a concern because I like to eat a lot of fresh produce,” said Renee Ruzicka of San Jose. “The last time it was spinach and I’m eating a lot of spinach in my diet.”

The recalled products range from broccoli to vegetable trays and salad mixes. Public health officials haven't reported any illnesses associated with the products but the company initiated the voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution. It was based on a single positive sample taken in Canada.

“If there's listeria present they shouldn't be selling products with a problem,” said Kelvin Walker of San Jose.

“I have an elderly mother,” said Ruzicka. “I don't want her to eat something that would make her sick. I definitely don't want to get sick from something I paid for.”

The company is recalling nearly 100 products sold at retailers from Walmart, Trader Joe’s and Safeways throughout the U.S. and Canada. Whole Foods at 10 Northern California Stores, including in San Francisco and the East Bay, are also pulling products.

The original recall listed only products under the Mann brand. It’s now been revised to include other brands made around the same time in the same facility.

“I think it happens every couple of years so it's not as alarming but it's definitely important to be aware it is happening so you decrease your risks of getting something like this,” said Dr. Runjhun MIsra who studies internal medicine.

Health officials warn listeria is a bacteria that can cause serious and at times deadly infections especially in young children, elderly and those with weakened immune symptoms. Healthy individuals may suffer symptoms including fever, abdominal pain and nausea.

“Nobody wants to get sick and have stomach problems and fever,” said Shelley Puzin of Los Gatos. “I think they should be taking better care of what they are doing with the vegetables.”

The company has set up a hotline. The recording states the health and safety of its customers are its highest priority and the company is cooperating with health officials. Anyone who has a health concern is encouraged to contact their doctor.

Click here for a full list of recalled products