Onions Recalled, Listeria Contamination Possible

If you recently browsed the produce section at the grocery store, it's time to check your purchases, because another recall has just been announced. On June 30, A&M Farms issued a voluntary recall of Vidalia onions sold at popular grocery stores like Wegmans and Publix due to possible Listeria contamination.

The recall affects select whole Vidalia onions packed on one pack line between June 20 – June 23, 2022, according to a notice posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Consumers can identify the recalled by the purchase location, PLU 4159 and Little Bear brand on the PLU sticker. The recall includes Little Bear Vidalia sweet onions sold by the pound with PLU 4159 sold in stores June 23 and 24 and PLU 4159 sold in stores June 22-24, and Why FFA Matters's six-pound bagged Vidalia sweet onions with lot number CHW032A and UPC 026303610067. The recalled onions were shipped directly to retailer distribution centers in Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania and further distributed to retail stores in Florida, Georgia, New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. They were available for purchase at Wegmans stores in New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania; and Publix stores in Florida and in Georgia in Barrow, Clarke, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Jackson, Oconee and Walton counties. The full list of recalled onions, as well as identifying information and where they were sold, can be found here.

A&M Farms, a Lyons, Georgia-based company, issued the voluntary recall "after internal company testing detected Listeria on a single pack line. Although the company cleans and sanitizes its pack lines regularly, it is recalling onions packed on the implicated packing line before and after June 21 out of an abundance of caution." Caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, listeria is a serious infection typically caused by consuming contaminated food. The bacterium typically affects young children, frail or elderly people, pregnant women, and others with weakened immune systems. It can cause high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. In some cases, it can be fatal. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

At this time, no illnesses have been reported in connection to the recalled onions. The FDA said no other products grown, packed, or sold by A&M Farms are affected. Consumers who purchased the recalled product are advised not to consume it. The recalled onions should instead be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase with a receipt for a refund. In a statement, Aries Haygood, co-owner of A&M Farms, said, "the health and safety of consumers are our top priorities here at A&M Farms. We are glad that most of the implicated product never reached stores, but we are focused intently on alerting consumers in those areas that did receive the onions."