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Just a few days ago, the CDC and the FDA advised us to chop our onions. Yes, all the onions, they said; reds, yellows, whites – all onions must go, lest a multi-state salmonella outbreak. It was bad enough, but now? Now a new line of relatively stable hot weather products has come under attack. On Wednesday, the FDA announced a voluntary recall of red potatoes – as in the type most commonly used in potato salad, a delicious summer treat – lemons, limes and oranges. Citrus has apparently been compromised, and in the hottest part of summer, no less.
Or, well, some of the citrus: the FDA announced on August 9 that the Wegmans Valencia oranges; Wegmans lemons and Freshhouse lemons; Limes Freshouse; Natures Promise organic limes; and the “Red B” potatoes fresh from the start, all sold by Freshouse II, LLC of Salisbury, North Carolina, had potentially been contaminated with listeria. More information on 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 illness has yet been reported, and the company says it launched the recall out of “plenty of caution” after identifying the bacteria on equipment at the packaging plant. However, consumers are advised to “destroy” any suspicious product in their refrigerator, to ensure that no one accidentally eats it. Listeria infection can cause diarrhea, nausea, fever, chills, and muscle pain, among other unpleasant symptoms, and is particularly risky for people who are pregnant or have weakened immune systems.
Anyway, if you also suspect that an extremely high level of citrus consumption is the only thing separating you from scurvy throughout this pandemic, and if you too have just put a quarter of lime in a heavily iced seltzer glass, well, I’m not going to pretend it’s not a blow. Take my onions, and whatever, take my potatoes too. But please, not my citrus. They have so much to give.