Beebe warns café customers about possibly listeria contamination

Beebe Medical Center announced this week that foods that were recently recalled may have been served in its hospital cafés and Gull House, potentially posing the risk of listeria infection to those who may have eaten them.

According to Beebe officials, its Dietary Department was notified of a national recall of prepared salads that may have been contaminated with the bacteria listeria monocytogenes, commonly known as “listeria.”

“It is possible that some of these products may have been consumed by people at the main hospital campus cafés and the Gull House beginning in mid-August until as recently as Thursday, Oct. 24,” they said.

The foods that were served that were recalled are:

• Carrot/raisin salad;

• Cucumber salad;

• Pasta salad (Main Campus only);

• Macaroni salad (Gull House only);

• Potato Salad (Gull House only); and

• Coleslaw (Gull House only).

On Oct. 22, it was reported that listeria had been found in the Reser’s Fine Foods’ manufacturing facility in Topeka, Kansas. While it is uncertain if the products were contaminated at the Reser’s factory where they were prepared, Beebe officials said they felt they needed to alert the public to possible signs and symptoms of illness, should they occur.

Some people do not develop symptoms and would not need to be treated. However, the illness can be serious. Those who are most at risk of becoming ill include: the very young, the elderly, those with a weakened immune system and pregnant women (to include risk to fetus or unborn infant).

Symptoms can include fever, muscle aches, stiff neck, confusion, headache, loss of balance and seizures. Sometimes these symptoms are preceded by vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms most commonly occur one to three weeks after eating a product contaminated with listeria but can even occur as early as three days to as long as 70 days after consumption.

If symptoms do occur, they said, see a healthcare provider immediately. It is very important that those suffering from these symptoms who may have eaten the recalled foods alert their physician that a recalled food product was eaten and exposure to listeria may have occurred.

For additional information about the recall, contact Reser’s Fine Foods’ customer support at (888) 257-7913, or visit the website at www.resers.com/resers-product-recall-information. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also has issued an announcement about the Reser’s Fine Foods recall, which can be found on the website at www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm371955.htm. The telephone number for the FDA is: (888) 463-6332.

“At Beebe Medical Center we care about the health and wellness of our patients, visitors and team members,” representatives said. “At this time, no one has become ill. However, out of an abundance of caution, we believe that it is important that you are made aware of this recall and the symptoms that could possibly occur.”