American regional hamburger chain, White Castle has announced a voluntary recall for its frozen food line due to possible traces of Listeria monocytogenes.
The products affected include both their six and sixteen packs of frozen cheeseburgers and hamburgers, as well as their six-pack of jalapeno cheeseburgers.
Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that is usually found in meat and unpasteurized dairy products. It causes illness in up to 1,600 Americans annually leading to 260 deaths. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
People who are most vulnerable to the bacteria are those with weaker immune systems such as children and the elderly. It can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
White castle is asking retailers to remove products from the shelves with best buy dates from 04 Aug 2020 to 17 Aug 2020. Products with best by dates from before or after this time frame are claimed to not to be affected by the outbreak.
“Our number one focus is the safety of our customers and our team members, and as a family-owned business, we want to hold ourselves to the absolute highest standards of accountability in all aspects of our business – and especially food safety,” said White Castle vice president, Jamie Richardson.
The traces of the pathogen were found during a quality assurance test by a third party laboratory at one of its frozen sandwich manufacturing facilities.
After the presence of Listeria monocytogenes was identified at the facility, White Castle canceled further shipments of these products to retailers.
Currently, the company, along with outside food safety experts, are working to mitigate the contamination by intensive sanitation and cleaning. White Castle also claims they are heightening their food safety testing and manufacturing guidelines.
“This voluntary recall is precautionary and is the right thing to do,” said Richardson.
White Castle is asking customers who have purchased their frozen products within the previously stated best by dates to throw them out or return them to the grocer for a refund where purchased. The company also indicates to seek medical help from a physician if eaten the product.