Pasta Recalled Due to Listeria Concerns

It's a hard time to be a pasta lover. Following World Variety Produce, Inc.'s recall of Melissa's Pasta Para Duros packages, yet another brand of pasta is being pulled from store shelves. On Dec. 29, Caesar's Pasta, LLC recalled more than 5,000 pounds of frozen manicotti due to potential listeria contamination.

The recall affects approximately 5,610 pounds of frozen manicotti, according to a recall notice posted by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The recalled pasta products were packaged in 10 lb. bulk boxes under the brand names Orefresco and Caesar's Pasta with a "Best By" date of September 28, 2024 and sold to various foodservice distributors distributing to restaurants in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Southeastern New York State; Northeastern Pennsylvania, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The FDA noted that the product "did not enter retail commerce."

While World Variety Produce, Inc.'s recall was due to undeclared allergens, Caesar's Pasta, LLC's recall was prompted after it was determined the pasta products have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Consumers who eat products tainted by Listeria monocytogenes bacterium could get listeriosis, a serious infection. Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Young children, frail or elderly people, pregnant women, and others with weakened immune systems are at the highest risk. In some cases, it can be fatal. The recalled pasta is categorized as "Not-Ready-To-Eat," with cooking instructions on the product label stating that the product must be cooked to 160 degrees, a temperature that would effectively kill the bacteria. No illnesses have been reported in connection to the recall.

The recall was prompted after results of a routine sampling program revealed that the finished products may contain the bacteria. Per the FDA's notice, "the FDA and the company continue their investigation as to what may have caused the problem." The notice added that the company's customers who received the affected product have already been notified of the recall and instructed to discard the affected products.

The recall not only follows Following World Variety Produce, Inc.'s recall of Melissa's Pasta Para Duros packages, but also an October recall of Craftology This Is My Happy Place Pasta Salad. The recall, which covered 14 oz. containers of the pasta salad that was sent to retailers in the Midwest, spun out of an earlier recall from Lipari Foods, which recalled sunflower seeds due to undeclared cashews.