Fruit Recall From New Jersey Walmarts; “Healthy Small Food Retailer Act” Signed into Law

Sources: Food And Drug;

Fresh nectarines and peaches sold by Walmart and Fairway supermarkets in New Jersey and New York have been included in a multi-state recall due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

The recall was the result of a routine sampling program by Ja. Vandenberg Inc. packing house in Yonkers New York, which revealed that the finished products contained the bacteria.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Consumers who have purchased the fruit are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

A bill which will assist small food retailers operating in New Jersey was signed into law today by NJ Governor Phil Murphy.

“Access to fresh produce and healthy food is a luxury many of us take for granted,” said bill co-sponsor Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez.

“Low-income and urban communities in our state suffer from food deserts. When full-service supermarkets do not operate in these communities, residents have to rely on small neighborhood corner stores as their primary source of grocery shopping.”

“These stores offer very limited, if any, healthy food options but do offer a vast selection of processed foods, making it nearly impossible to have a healthy diet. Helping these small food retailers expand their offerings would ensure everyone in New Jersey has access to nutritious foods.”

The law will require the Department of Health (DOH) to develop a Healthy Corner Store Program to increase the availability of fresh produce and healthy food in small food retailers in rural and urban areas, as well as low and moderate income areas. The DOH will also be required to establish a Healthy Small Food Retailer Fund to support the program.

“Every resident of New Jersey should have proper access to fresh produce and healthy food,” said bill co-sponsor Senator James Beach. “This law will ensure nutritious food can be found in community corner stores, which lack access to supermarkets, promoting healthy diets and wellness throughout New Jersey.”

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