FDA Recalls Fruit

Pictured is a premade snack complete with apples which were recalled due to the possible contamination of Listeria

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Pictured is a premade snack complete with apples which were recalled due to the possible contamination of Listeria

Diana Venegas, Journalist

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Ever since the government shutdown, many things that should be essential have stopped. One of these things being the FDA inspecting foods for infections such as E. coli or salmonella. The FDA has begun to recall foods and other essentials because they simply no longer have funds to clean fruits and test products. There are low-risk and high-risk foods. An example of the ones that would be more prone to contamination would be cheese, a less risk food would be crackers.

According to NBC News, people are being fired because of the lack of money, therefore inspections have gone down. More urgent inspections are still being done at places with high-risk foods/products. Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that can grow in low temperatures, or more simply put; food poisoning. It’s also the third leading cause of death from foodborne illness. It affects the body in as many places as the brain to the bloodstream, it also can be found in many different foods such as dairy, meat etc. On January 1st 2019, peaches, nectarines, and plums were recalled. The FDA website lists the reason for their removal as Listeria monocytogenes. This means that schools could stop giving out a crucial part of the meal because fruit isn’t safe to feed.

Randy Salazar was asked how he thinks the recalls will affect the school, he replies, “Some people eat the fruit after the actual food because they are still hungry so maybe some kids will end up staying hungry after lunch.” There was a Listeria outbreak that seems to have ceased January 29, 2019 just four days after the government shutdown ended according to cdc.gov. The website also mentioned that there were only 4 cases with 4 people hospitalized from 4 states and no deaths. Listeria was not only present during the shutdown, there were reported cases since 2011. The Illinois Department of Public Health says that approximately 20 cases of Listeria monocytogenes are reported annually and of those about 25% die. Considering how long the shutdown lasted, there is no real way to find out if the fruit bought two weeks ago is or isn’t contaminated.