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Heeren Brothers recalls cantaloupe

Heeren Brothers Produce is recalling approximately 5,400 cantaloupes because of a possible health risk to consumers.

The produce, which was distributed to small, independent grocers in Michigan July 23-26, has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and should be discarded and not consumed. The cantaloupes are Athena Cantaloupes, but have no stickers or other markings that identify them as such.

The Kent County Health Department is recommending those who may have eaten the cantaloupe to contact a health care provider if they notice symptoms of illness in the coming weeks, especially those who may already be at high risk for illness. The FDA tested the cantaloupe and says it found the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause the infection Listeriosis in some people. Listeriosis can be fatal in high-risk populations.

The Kent County Health Department has not received any complaints of illness due to the cantaloupe recall as of August 6. “Listeriosis infection has an incubation period that ranges from three days to ten weeks,” said Adam London, Administrative Health Officer of Kent County. “We are concerned about people who are vulnerable to illness: newborns, older adults, those with compromised immune systems, and women who are pregnant.”

Listeriosis is a foodborne illness that causes about 1600 infections annually in the United States. Symptoms of Listeriosis include fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea, stomach cramping or vomiting. If you start to notice these symptoms and believe you may have eaten a potentially contaminated cantaloupe, contact your health care provider immediately. In pregnant women, Listeriosis can cause a variety of health complications for the fetus, including miscarriage and stillbirth. Other symptoms include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Even though Listeriosis is treatable with antibiotics, it has a high death rate among the food-borne infections.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, the elderly or others with weak immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer short-term symptoms, such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain or diarrhea. Listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women.

After receiving notice from the FDA, Heeren Brothers Produce immediately alerted retailers and requested that they remove the produce from their shelves. Heeren Brothers Produce has also contacted the supplier of the cantaloupes. The source of the potential issue is still under investigation. Heeren Brothers Produce is cooperating fully with the FDA.

Consumers who have questions may contact Heeren Brothers Produce at 616.452.2101 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Here are tips from the FDA regarding melon safety:

Consumers and food preparers should wash their hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling any whole melon, such as cantaloupe, watermelon, or honeydew.

Scrub the surface of melons, such as cantaloupes, with a clean produce brush under running water and dry them with a clean cloth or paper towel before cutting. Sanitize your scrub brush after each use, to avoid transferring bacteria between melons.

Promptly consume cut melon or refrigerate promptly. Keep your cut melon refrigerated at, or less than 40 degrees F (32-34 degrees F is best), for no more than 7 days. Discard cut melons left at room temperature for more than 4 hours.

More information on Listeriosis can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/.



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Spartan Stores recalls deli products with eggs

Spartan Stores  announced the voluntary recall last Friday of eight deli products with a sell by date of January 20th through February 1st, 2012, that contain hard cooked eggs produced by Michael Foods of Minnetonka, Minnesota. Michael Foods is recalling their hard cooked egg products due to possible contamination with Listeria Monocytogenes. The deli products being voluntarily recalled are:

Egg Spread; Sandwich with egg spread; prepackaged containers of salad including small and large chef, seven layer, no meat small and large chef, and no meat seven layer salad.

Stores has received no confirmation of illness associated with the consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact their healthcare provider immediately. All of the products involved in the recall should be returned for a full refund or replacement.

Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Spartan Stores’ Consumer Affairs at 1-800-451-8500 or contact Michael Foods Customer Service at 877-367-3447.

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Charlevoix store issues candy recall

Out of concern for its customers, Murdick’s Famous Fudge, 230 Bridge Street, Charlevoix, Michigan, has issued a voluntary recall of its individually wrapped caramels (all varieties); peanut brittle; cashew brittle; and saltwater taffy (all varieties) because the products may have been handled by ill store employees.  The recalled caramels, nut brittles and saltwater taffy were sold from the Charlevoix Murdick’s Famous Fudge store on Bridge Street only. This recall does not affect any other Murdick’s locations.

The recall was initiated after the local health department investigation of alleged illnesses associated with eating caramels produced at this location indicated that some employees of Murdick’s Famous Fudge had been exhibiting symptoms typically attributed to a norovirus infection.

Norovirus illness usually begins 24-48 hours after exposure, but can appear as early as 10 hours after exposure. Symptoms usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping. People may have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness is usually brief, with symptoms lasting only 1 or 2 days.  If unable to drink enough liquids to replace what they lose from vomiting and diarrhea, medical treatment may be needed to prevent dehydration.

The company is working with local and state officials to evaluate its production process to prevent reoccurrence.

Consumers who have purchased the recalled products between July 23 and August 3, 2011, are urged to dispose of the products or return them to Murdick’s Famous Fudge in Charlevoix for a refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 231-547-4213.

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Snowblowers recalled

snowblowerAmerican Honda Motor Co. Inc., of Torrance, California, in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has recalled 18,500 Honda snowblowers.
The snowblowers were recalled because the fuel tank joint and O-ring located on the underside of the fuel tank can seep or drip fuel over time, posing a fire hazard.
Honda has received 90 reports of fuel either seeping or dripping. No fires have been reported.
The snowblowers are red and black and include the following Models and Frame Serial Numbers: HS724 SZBE-1037913 through 1046577; HS928 SZAS-1151080 through 1169012; and HS1132 SZBF-1018734 through 1025998.
They were sold Honda Power Equipment dealers nationwide from April 2005 through November 2010 for between $2,000 and $3,400.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled snowblowers and contact any Honda Power Equipment dealer to arrange for a free fuel tank joint and O-ring replacement. Registered owners of the recalled snowblowers will be mailed a notice.
For additional information, contact Honda at (888) 888-3139 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.hondapowerequipment.com.

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