Sunflower kernels recalled for possible listeria contamination

Story highlights

  • SunOpta is voluntarily recalling some of its sunflower kernels
  • Impacted brands: Planters Sunflower Kernels and Dakota's Best Biggy'z Roasted and Salted Kernels

(CNN)Baseball players may want to pay attention to this recall today: SunOpta is voluntarily recalling some of its sunflower kernels over possible listeria contamination, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

The company's sunflower kernels -- the meat of the sunflower seed -- are sold under the brands Planters Sunflower Kernels and Dakota's Best Biggy'z Roasted and Salted Kernels. The products in question were sent to Illinois and North Dakota, but the FDA said they may also have been redistributed to other states.
    On Thursday, seven more companies announced recalls of sunflower kernels or seeds and products that contain them because they come from the same supplier, meaning the recall is much larger than previously thought.
    A full list can be found here.
    Check the FDA website for the UPC numbers. The best-by date on the Dakota brand is 2/11/2017. For Planters, it is 3/6, 3/7, and 3/8 -- all of 2017.
    Sunflower seeds are popular with baseball players, including many major leaguers, who chew them as a healthier alternative to chewing tobacco.
    The kernels were produced at the company's Crookston, Minnesota, plant between February 1 -19, 2016.
    Ghiringhelli Specialty Foods also on Wednesday recalled about 33,610 pounds of its Broccoli Slaw & Kale Salad with White Chicken Meat, sold by Trader Joe's, because it uses sunflower seeds from SunOpta. The recall refers to products with a use-by date of 5/2 through 5/7 of 2016.
    If you have one of these packages, be sure to throw it away or take it back to the store where you bought it for a refund.
    So far no one has reported getting sick from sunflower kernels, but SunOpta is recalling the product out of an abundance of caution.
    Listeria, known by its scientific name of Listeria monocytogenes, is the bacterium that causes listeriosis, an infection that affects the gastrointestinal tract. This serious infection can cause temporary problems such as high fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea, headaches, stiffness and nausea.
    It can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women, the elderly, children and anyone with a weak immune system due to a chronic condition. Some infections are so serious they can cause death.
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    The CDC estimates there are 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths per year in the U.S. due to listeriosis infections.
    If you've got questions you can email the company at contactus@sunopta.com or call 1-877-237-4374.