New Era Recalls Vegetable Products

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Vegetable Recall

New Era Canning Company is recalling all cans of vegetable products in #10 cans (large cans containing between 6 and 7 pounds) on the list below because they may have been processed under conditions which could have led to contamination by Clostridium botulinum bacterium spores, which can cause life-threatening illness or death.

While the UPC on the can label may be helpful in determining whether the product might be under recall, customers will need to also examine the lot code information on the can end to determine whether the can is subject to recall, as some distributors may purchase these products from more than one supplier. The UPC and lot code information has been included on the product list for each product under recall to make the identification of any recalled products easier.

Clostridium botulinum bacterium spores have the potential for growth that produces a toxin that causes a potentially fatal form of food poisoning - botulism. Symptoms of botulism poisoning in humans can begin from 6 hours to 2 weeks after eating food that contains the toxin. Symptoms may include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, and muscle weakness that moves progressively down the body, affecting the shoulders first, then descending to the upper arms, lower arms, thighs, and calves. Botulism poisoning also can cause paralysis of the breathing muscles, which can result in death unless assistance with breathing (mechanical ventilation) is provided. Individuals who have these symptoms and who may have recently eaten the any of the recalled vegetable products currently under recall or other food products made with these items should seek immediate medical attention.

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The issues were uncovered in a FDA inspection of products that were in the company's possession. NO product has tested positive for the toxin and there have been NO cases of botulism reported from these products.

This recall only affects the products in the large #10 cans, the majority of which were potentially sold nationwide to various food service customers. However these products may also have been purchased by consumers at retail stores. The code on the cans may be embossed (stamped into the metal of the can) or printed in ink on one of the metal can ends and the first set of numbers or letters in the code may be used to identify whether the product was canned by New Era Canning. We have been alerted that some of our cans may be missing the can codes. Any cans of these products without a code should not be opened or used and assumed to be under the recall.

Examples of how a lot code may appear on a can of Green Beans, Italian Cut are: "00249 2BH7FL", "00249 1515 2BH7FL", "ITAL 2BH7FL" or "ITAL 1515 2BH7FL". (These are not necessarily actual can codes). In these examples, the "00249" and the "ITAL", being the first set of numbers or letters in the lot code, would be used to identify that the product was canned by New Era Canning.

Examples of how a lot code may appear on a can of Great Northern beans are: "00249 34F7LG", "00249 1515 34F7LG", "NORTH 34F7LG" or "NORTH 1515 34F7LG". (These are not necessarily actual can codes). In these examples, the "00249" and the "NORTH", being the first set of numbers or letters in the lot code, would be used to identify that the product was canned by New Era Canning.

New Era Canning, in conjunction with the US Food and Drug Administration and the Michigan Department of Agriculture, is thoroughly evaluating all processes and procedures to determine the cause of the problem.

Any food that may be contaminated should be disposed of carefully. Even tiny amounts of toxins ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the eye or a break in the skin can cause serious illness. Skin contact should be avoided as much as possible, and the hands should be washed immediately after handling the food. Customers who have these products or any foods made with these products should throw them away immediately. Double bag the cans in plastic bags that are tightly closed, then place in a trash receptacle for non-recyclable trash outside of the home. Restaurants and institutions are encouraged to assure that such products are only placed in locked receptacles which are not accessible to the public.

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