Listeria detection leads to collard greens recall

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NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Consumer and Industry Services Division (CIS) is issuing a public advisory to warn consumers of Listeria monocytogenes discovered in a package of collard greens sold in Tennessee.

During routine surveillance sampling, a CIS Food and Dairy Inspector purchased a food sample from a Kroger store in Nashville, Tenn. Laboratory results revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in a 16-ounce package of Kroger Brand Collard Greens. The vegetables originated from Baker Farms in Norman Park, Ga.

Food package information for Kroger Collard Greens includes Lot Code 110093-387 and UPC 11110-18171 with Best By date of 10-16-2023. Packages were shipped to Kroger stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Baker Farms has issued a voluntary recall in affected states and Kroger has requested all stores remove any unsold packages from shelves and destroy any inventory of the product.

So far, TDA has not received reports that the collard greens have caused illness. TDA is urging anyone who purchased any of the collard greens product not to consume them. Consumers may call Kroger Customer Connect at 1-800-632-6900 with any questions.

Listeria monocytogenes can grow in a cold environment and lead to high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women and may be fatal for individuals with weakened immune systems. Cooking and pasteurization are two methods to eliminate the bacteria from food.

The CIS Food and Dairy Section and Technical Services Lab set the highest standards for food safety and enforce those standards through regular and thorough inspections and product testing. This year, CIS staff have completed 7,951 retail food store inspections statewide. Laboratory staff performed approximately 852 tests for pathogens, allergens, and other contaminants on human food samples during that same period. The Technical Services Lab is accredited by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) which demonstrates the laboratory’s commitment to the highest standards, technical competence, and continual improvement.