New Jersey Product Alerts: Fresh Creative Cuisine Foods; Eye Drops

Sources: New Jersey Patch; Associated Press

More than 400 products sold by the Fresh Ideation Food Group of Baltimore between Jan. 24-30 have been recalled because they could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The potentially risky products include items such as bacon, egg and cheddar muffins, breakfast croissants, tuna and chicken sandwiches and fruit cups. The recalled products were sold in retail locations, vending machines and during travel with transportation providers.

They were sold in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

All of the recalled products have a Fresh Creative Cuisine label and/or identifier at the bottom of the label with the Fresh Creative Cuisine name, plus a fresh-through or sell-through date ranging from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6.

The recall was initiated after the company’s environmental samples tested positive for listeria. No illnesses linked to the product have been reported as of Monday.

Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems, according to the federal Food and Drug Administration.

Although healthy people might suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Fresh Ideation Food Group urged anyone who purchased the recalled products to contact the company at 855-969-3338 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising people to stop using over-the-counter eye drops that have been linked to an outbreak of drug-resistant infections.

Disease investigators have linked the infections, including some found in blood, urine and lungs, to EzriCare Artificial Tears. Many of the patients said they had used the product, which is a lubricant used to treat irritation and dryness.

Infections were diagnosed in patients in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. At least three others suffered permanent vision loss in California and New Jersey. A patient in Washington died with a blood infection.

The infections were all caused by a bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Investigators detected that kind of bacteria in open EzriCare bottles, but further testing was underway to see if the strains matched.

How could eye drops cause infections in the blood or lungs? The eye connects to the nasal cavity through the tear ducts. Bacteria can move from the nasal cavity into the lungs. Also, bacteria in these parts of the body can seed infections at other sites such as in the blood or wounds, CDC officials said.

Investigators found the bacteria were not susceptible to any antibiotics routinely tested at public health laboratories. However, a newer antibiotic named cefiderocol did seem to work.

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