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Frequently Asked Questions
Gills Onions Expanded Voluntary Recall of Diced and Slivered Red and Yellow Onions, and Diced Onion and Celery Mix Because of Possible Health RiskLast updated July 30, 2012
On July 25, 2012, Gills Onions expanded its July 18 voluntary recall to include additional products because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes; a product list is provided in our news release. We hope that the information provided in these Frequently Asked Questions is helpful. However, consumers with additional questions may also contact Gills Onions at 1-888-220-0436.
Q. Have there been any illnesses linked to this expanded recall?
‘No illnesses have been linked to this recall.
Q. Which products are included in the recall?
The expanded product list includes diced, slivered and whole peeled onions and diced onion/celery mix with use-by-dates on or before August 3.Click here for a copy of our July 25 News Release, a list of recalled products and photos of the recalled products.
Q. What should I do if I have a recalled product?
Anyone who has the recalled product in their possession should not consume it and should destroy or discard it.
Q. What should I do if I’ve consumed the recalled product?
If you feel ill or begin to feel ill, see your doctor or a medical professional and tell them about the recall. Your doctor will make a diagnosis and should report any test findings to public health authorities who will then report it to the CDC.
Q. Where did the recalled product go?
The recalled products in our news release were shipped directly from Gills Onions to retailers in Canada and the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Washington.
Q. Were the products in the expanded recall distributed to foodservice?
Yes. Products in the expanded recall were sold directly to foodservice distributors and processed food manufacturers, although in different package sizes than those listed in our news release. Gills Onions notified all customers who received the recalled product directly from the company and requested that they remove it from commerce. We also asked our direct customers to notify their customers of this recall.
Q. Why does your news release only mention that the product was distributed to retailers?
In consultation with FDA, our news release includes products sold at retail because the purpose of the news release is to provide the general public with information such as label and expiration date that will help consumers identify the recalled product and inform them to not consume it. Since consumers do not have access to foodservice product packaging, this information will not help consumers identify the product. In order to remove the product from foodservice channels, Gills Onions contacted foodservice customers directly.
Q. Why is the July 18 recall being expanded?
Gills Onions and FDA have been conducting concurrent investigations into the possible cause of contamination that led to the company’s July 18 recall. In the course of these investigations, traces of Listeria were found in the facility in which the July 18 recalled product was processed. As a precautionary measure, Gills Onions has expanded the recall to include all products processed in that facility and which may still be in the marketplace. This facility has been out of service since July 17, pending the conclusion of the investigation.
Q. What is Gills Onions doing to minimize the risk to public health?
Gills Onions is notifying all customers who received the recalled product directly from the company and requesting that they remove it from commerce. We are also asking our direct customers to notify their customers of this recall. Gills Onions has issued a press release and is keeping the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and California Department of Public Health informed of its recall process to assure that consumers are properly alerted.
Q. What is Gills Onions doing to prevent this from happening again?
“Our priority right now is to carry out this recall effectively and efficiently in order to reduce the risk to public health. We’ve identified the problem, and we are also taking aggressive actions to correct it. These initial actions include the evaluation of our current food safety program, the formulation of a panel of food safety experts and microbiologists with expertise in Listeria control, an expansion of the required microbial surveillance and sanitation programs, and continued testing. We are a family-owned and operated business, and we know that we must work hard every day to earn the trust and confidence of our valued consumers.” – Steve Gill, Owner
Q. What is Listeria monocytongenes?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Q. Did the additional products in the expanded recall test positive for Listeria monocytongenes?
None of the products included in this expanded recall have tested positive for Listeria . Gills Onions is issuing this voluntary recall in order to minimize risk to public health. Only one package of onions tested positive in the original recall issued July 18th. The company has been working with state and federal health officials to thoroughly investigate the facility in question.