If you’ve bought frozen food from Safeway, Trader Joe’s or Costco in the past several months, listen up: a recent recall on over 350 frozen vegetable products from 42 different brands means your food could be at risk of listeria contamination.

Anyone who has any of these items in their freezer shouldn’t panic, but here’s what you need to know.


Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

Which foods are at risk?

A company called CRF Frozen Foods, based out of Pasco, Washington, manufactures and processes produce that is then sold under various different brand names and sold at several major grocery stores. Check the list from the FDA to see which specific items are potentially in danger of listeria contamination.

Everything from basic green beans to organic sweet potatoes to edamame is included, so be sure to check exactly which brands are listed.

Which dates should I be worried about?


Photo by Anna Hsu

Products with a “best by” or “sell by” date between April 26th, 2016 and April 26th, 2018 should be thrown out, according to the CDC.

If you’re in doubt, don’t risk it – toss anything that you don’t think is 100% safe.

What even is listeria?

Simply put, listeria (Listeria monocytogenes) is a bacteria that can cause food poisoning. It can cause serious infections and even have fatal effects, especially among children, elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems. Bacteria is everywhere, but some types are more harmful than others.

Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, according to CRF. One important thing to note is that, among healthy college-age people, there’s a chance that symptoms might not even be experienced at all.

What should I do if I have some of this food?

If you own any of the listed products, the CDC recommends that you seal them in a plastic bag, throw them away, and clean your freezer. Be sure to immediately wash your hands after doing this.

Be sure to also throw away any meals you made using these products. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

What should I do if I already ate some of this food?


Photo by Bernard Wen

Stay calm. First, throw away any leftovers. If you’re feeling any muscle aches or stomach problems, or any level of fever, you may want to get checked out by a medical professional.

Keep in mind that if the food has been cooked, the risk of infection may be lower. And lastly, even if you have eaten contaminated food, the likelihood of you healing up just fine is high, according to some medical studies.

What about frozen vegetables that are in frozen packaged meals?

So far, specific recalls have been made for Trader Joe’s chicken fried rice and vegetable fried rice. Keep checking the recall lists to see if any items are added.

#SpoonTip: Grocery store websites are sometimes updated more frequently and quickly than official company or government sites.

Keep your eyes peeled for further information, be careful by checking your products, and stay healthy.