Health Canada is recalling a brand of frozen organic blackberries — sold in Ontario and British Columbia — over a possible microbial contamination.
The federal health agency said the 365 Whole Food Markets brand product was initially recalled in another country, prompting the order to Canadians to halt the consumption, retail and distribution of the fruit package over listeria monocytogenes contaminants.
Listeria monocytogenes is linked to listeriosis, an infection the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classified as “serious.” Canadians with weaker immune systems, as well as pregnant women and seniors, are particularly at risk.
While the blackberries might not seem spoiled at first glance or smell, the health risk lingers, triggering persistent fever, muscle ache, and neck stiffness, among other symptoms in those affected.
Signs of listeriosis infection appear around two weeks after in contact with the bacteria, and when not treated early, might spread beyond the intestine gut, becoming invasive and severe infection.
“Almost 1 in 20 non-pregnant people with invasive listeriosis die,” the CDC said. Infection can also lead to premature delivery or stillbirth.
No illnesses associated with consuming the 365 Whole Food Markets blackberries have so far been reported in Canada.
Health Canada said recalled products should be thrown out or returned to where they were purchased. The 284-gram package, UPC number 099482406059, was recommended for use by Sept. 16, 2024.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said it is now verifying the recalled product is being removed from the marketplace while conducting a food safety investigation that may lead to further product recalls.