A food processing plant in Biddeford has issued a voluntary recall of several fresh vegetable products out of concern that they may be contaminated with Listeria.

The recall includes certain squash, cauliflower and zucchini products sold under the Green Giant Fresh, Trader Joe’s, Signature Farms and Growers Express brands, according to a recall notice issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Canned and frozen products under those brands are not affected, it said.

Most of the affected products have a sell-by date of between June 26 and June 29, the FDA said. Detailed information about the specific products subject to the recall can be found on the FDA’s website.

Consumers who purchased any of the products from the affected sell-by dates or with an unreadable date code are urged not to consume them and to throw the products away, the FDA said. No cases of Listeria illness related to the products have been reported, it said.

Listeria is a species of bacteria that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems, according to the FDA. Although healthy people may suffer short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women, it said.

The Biddeford plant is owned and operated by Growers Express, a company based in Salinas, California. According to its Facebook page, it employs about 140 people. Products made at the Biddeford plant are distributed to grocery stores and food-service establishments throughout New England, including Shaw’s and Trader Joe’s.


In a statement, Tom Byrne, president of Growers Express, said the company stopped production immediately “after being notified of a single positive sample by the Massachusetts Department of Health. We are deep sanitizing the entire facility and our line equipment, as well as conducting continued testing on top of our usual battery of sanitation and quality and safety tests before resuming production.”

A company representative who was contacted by phone agreed to research a few questions about the Biddeford facility including how many people are employed there and how the cleanup effort has affected them. Later, she issued this response:

“Growers Express is still working with the FDA on this active and ongoing investigation. At this time, all of the information that we are able to provide is contained within the press release.”


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