Walmart and Costco Shoppers, Take Caution: Multiple Recalls for Listeria
Several products were pulled due to potential contamination, the FDA and CDC warn.
While we hope to avoid it, the threat of foodborne illness is real—and more common than we'd like to think. An ongoing Salmonella outbreak has spread to 22 states, as of Jan. 18, while a Listeria outbreak has sickened 26 people and killed two so far, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The listeria outbreak has been linked to cotija cheese, queso fresco, crema, and yogurt made by Rizo-López Foods, prompting the company to issue a total recall on Feb. 5 for products under 13 brand names.
Now, however, more products containing these potentially contaminated ingredients are being pulled—including multiple items sold at Costco, Albertsons, Walmart, and Trader Joe's. Read on to find out if your latest grocery haul is affected by a recall.
Salad kits may be contaminated.
Per a Feb. 8 press release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), four salad kit varieties were voluntarily recalled by Ready Pac Foods, Inc. due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.
Affected products included the 10.3 oz "Marketside Southwest Chopped Kit" and 9.8 oz "Marketside Bacon Ranch Crunch Kit," both of which were distributed by Walmart. The 24 oz "Ready Pac Bistro Queso Crunch Salad Kit" distributed by Costco was also pulled, as was the 10.5 oz "Ready Pac Bistro Fresh Mex Chopped Kit" distributed by Winco.
According to the recall notice, a total of 15,751 cases were manufactured and distributed to these retailers between Dec. 2023, and Feb. 2024. Ready Pac is urging customers who purchased these kits to "immediately discard" the entire bag—including individual packets of cheese—or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Universal product codes, use-by dates, and other information are listed in the recall notice.
Dressings and dips sold at Costco were also pulled.
Fresh Creative Foods also voluntarily pulled certain cremas, everything sauces, cilantro cotija dressing, poblano Caesar dressing, cilantro dressing, and one taco kit containing cheese ingredients that could be contaminated with Listeria.
They were sold at retail outlets such as Costco, H-E-B, Trader Joe's, and Albertsons, per a Feb. 7 alert from the FDA.
Dressings were sold in bottles, while the taco kit was sold in a clear clamshell container. Similar to the salad kits, customers were asked not to consume the products, and throw them out or return them.
Rojos Black Bean Layer Dips, which were exclusively sold at Costco, were also pulled by Simply Fresh LLC due to the cotija cheese recall, a separate FDA alert issued on Feb. 7 states.
Trader Joe's had to yank additional food items.
The recalls don't stop there: Trader Joe's was forced to pull additional products containing cotija cheese.
Potentially contaminated items include Trader Joe's Chicken Enchiladas Verde (SKU 58292); Trader Joe's Cilantro Salad Dressing (SKU 36420); Trader Joe's Elote Chopped Salad Kit (SKU 74768); and Trader Joe's Southwest Salad (SKU 56077), per a Feb. 8 alert from the FDA. Products were sold at Trader Joe's stores nationwide and should not be consumed, the agency said. They can be thrown away or returned to your local store for a refund.
Wondering if your specific purchase is recalled? The FDA's Listeria outbreak investigation page includes a complete list of recalled products, with additional information available in individual recall notices.
Keep an eye out for symptoms.
So far, health agencies have received 26 reports of illnesses, but the FDA is asking everyone to keep an eye out for certain symptoms. Signs of listeriosis typically appear within two weeks of eating contaminated food. However, they can also start on the same day or up to 10 weeks later.
Fever, muscle aches, nausea, tiredness, vomiting, and diarrhea are mild symptoms of listeriosis, while headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions signal a more severe infection, the FDA says.
Pregnant people, newborns, people over 65, and those who are immunocompromised are particularly at risk. If you show any symptoms of listeriosis, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.
- Source: CDC: Salmonella Outbreak—Where Sick People Lived
- Source: CDC: Listeria Outbreak Linked to Queso Fresco and Cotija Cheese
- Source: FDA: Rizo-López Foods, Inc. Voluntarily Recalls Dairy Products Because of Possible Health Risk
- Source: FDA: Ready Pac Foods, Inc. Recalls Four Salad Kits Due to Possible Health Risk From Listeria Monocytogenes
- Source: FDA: Fresh Creative Foods Announces Voluntary Recall of Dressings and Taco Kit Due to Risk of Listeria in Ingredient From Cheese Supplier: Rizo-Lopez Foods, Inc.
- Source: FDA: Simply Fresh Llc. Voluntarily Recalls Rojos Black Bean Layer Dip 2/20oz Product Because of Possible Health Risk
- Source: FDA: Trader Joe’s Recalls Certain Products Containing Cotija Cheese Because They May Be Contaminated With Listeria Monocytogenes
- Source: FDA: Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes: Queso Fresco and Cotija Cheese (February 2024)