U.S. officials watching international outbreak; no illnesses reported here

107 countries received frozen vegetables recalled for Listeria

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed Friday they are monitoring an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections (listeriosis) linked to frozen vegetables produced and distributed from a facility in Hungary by Greenyard Frozen after nine people in Europe and one in Australia have died from infections by the outbreak strain.  Listeria monocytogenes IVb sequence type (ST) 6 that matches the outbreak strain from victims was isolated from frozen spinach and frozen green beans sampled at the facility.  It was also isolated in a sample from a floor drain at the packaging area confirming the environmental contamination of the Hungarian processing plant.
  • Food safety officials in Europe reported earlier last week that the implicated frozen vegetables had been distributed to at least 107 countries and territories, including the United States and Canada.  FDA has stated, however, that no current recalls in the United States are associated with the frozen vegetables produced and distributed by Greenyard Frozen.
  • Frozen spinach and frozen green beans may be eligible for an exemption from compliance with FDA’s Produce Safety Rule, which establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce.  Our detailed summary of the rule is available here.