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Just a few days ago, the CDC and the FDA advised us to chuck our bulbs. Yes, all onions, they said; the reds, the yellows, the whites – all the onions have to go, for fear of a multistate salmonella outbreak. It was bad enough, but now? Now a new amount of relatively stable warm weather products has been attacked. On Wednesday, the FDA announced a voluntary recall of red potatoes – as in the type commonly used in potato salad, a delicious piece of summer – lemons, limes and oranges. The citrus fruits have obviously been compromised, and in the hottest summer no less.
Or, yes, some of the citrus fruits: the FDA announced on August 9 that Wegmans Valencia oranges; Wegmans lemons and Freshhouse lemons; Freshouse limes; Natures Promise organic limes; and fresh initially “Red B” potatoes, all sold by Freshouse II, LLC in Salisbury, North Carolina, had been potentially contaminated with listeria. More information about the products and lot numbers can be found here.
CNN reports that the recalled products were shipped to distributors in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. No diseases have yet been reported, and the company says it initiated the recall of an “abundance of caution” after identifying the bacteria on a piece of packaging equipment. Consumers are still advised to “destroy” all suspicious products in their refrigerators to ensure that no one accidentally eats it. Listeria infection can cause diarrhea, nausea, fever, chills and muscle aches, among other unpleasant symptoms, and is especially risky for people who are pregnant or have weakened immune systems.
Anyway, if you also suspect that a freakishly high level of citrus consumption is the only thing that stood between you and scurvy throughout this pandemic, and if you too, just popped a lime wedge in a strong ice glass of seltzer, well, I will not pretend that this is not a blow. Take my onions, and whatever, take my potatoes too. But please, not my citrus fruits. They have so much left to give.