If You Have This Vegetable in Your Fridge, the FDA Says Get Rid of It

One brand is recalling 33 products of this one particular vegetable due to potential contamination.

If you've been stocking up your fridge with vegetables in an effort to eat healthier in 2021, you'll need to make sure you're not holding on to one particular veggie after a new report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Butternut squash might be the perfect winter vegetable, but it turns out, not all of it is safe to eat. There's been a recall on more than 30 butternut squash products made by a certain brand due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Read on to make sure your veggies are safe, and for another product you may need to toss, find out why If You Have This Milk in Your Fridge, the FDA Says Get Rid of It Now.

The recalled butternut squash products are made by Pero Family Farms.

Pero Family Farms Butternut Veggie Spirals, which have been recalled
Pero Family Farms via FDA

The recall alert was issued on Jan. 19 by the FDA relating to various butternut squash products made by Pero Family Farms. The warning covers a whole range of products from butternut chunk bags to butternut spirals trays to cubed butternut trays in a variety of sizes. The use-by dates range from Jan. 13 to Jan. 22, with the full list of all 33 recalled products listed on the FDA's website. And for another recall to be aware of, know that If You Have This Spice in Your Pantry, the FDA Says Check It Immediately.

The vegetables were sold in 11 states.

Woman wearing mask shopping in grocery store

Based in Delray Beach, Florida, Pero Family Farms has produced vegetables since 1908 and distributes them nationwide. These particular butternut squash products that are subject to the new recall were sold in Louisiana, Florida, Texas, New York, Maine, Georgia, Ohio, Virginia, Alabama, Virginia, and Missouri. And for more regular recall news sent right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

The products in question can cause listeriosis.

Woman holding her stomach in pain right outside the bathroom

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that can cause a serious infection called listeriosis when it contaminates food. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1,600 people get listeriosis each year in the U.S. and around 20 percent of them die as a result. Newborn children, adults over the age of 65, and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk from the infection. If pregnant women get listeriosis, they tend to only suffer mild effects themselves, but it can cause miscarriages and stillbirths.

The FDA stresses that in regards to the Pero Family Farms recall, "no illnesses have been reported to date." The recall was voluntary, sparked by Pero Family Farms investigating the possibility of contamination rather than direct reports of illness. Production of the butternut squash dishes in question has been halted while investigations take place.

Consumers who have purchased any of the affected batches are advised to either throw them away, or return them to the point of purchase for a full refund.

These are the symptoms you need to look out for.

Man walking into bathroom

The most common symptoms of listeriosis in most adults are fever and diarrhea, but in its most serious manifestations, the CDC warns that "some people with Listeria infections … develop severe infections of the bloodstream (causing sepsis) or brain (causing meningitis or encephalitis). Listeria infections can sometimes affect other parts of the body, including bones, joints, and sites in the chest and abdomen." And for more on the latest in food safety, find out why If You Have This Beloved Snack at Home, Throw It Away Immediately.

John Quinn
John Quinn is a London-based writer and editor who specializes in lifestyle topics. Read more
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