Listeria concerns prompt sunflower-seed product recalls

(CNN)Products containing sunflower seeds from a Minnesota-based company are under a voluntary recall in at least 24 states.

The recall stems from concerns about possible listeria contamination, though no illnesses have been directly linked to the products.
Certain products made by Planters, Sunrich Naturals, and Papa John's Salads and Produce are included in the recall.
    The potentially-affected sunflower seeds were produced by SunOpta.
    The recall affects Planters and Sunrich Naturals sunflower kernels made between the dates of February 1 and April 21, the date when the facility stopped production of the seeds, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a release.
    Separately, Arizona-based Papa John's Salad and Produce, Inc. has issued a voluntary recall of its Oriental Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing, with sell-by dates of May 18 through May 25.
    The salads are a pre-packaged blend sold in retail grocery stores including Albertson's, Safeway, Food 4 Less and Bashas'.
    The FDA is urging consumers who bought any of these items matching these descriptions to promptly throw them away or return them to the store for a refund.
    "SunOpta is committed to ensuring consumer safety and providing quality products and ingredients to customers. The Company has completed its root cause analysis and is working with food safety experts to implement corrective and preventative measures," the company said in a statement provided to the FDA.
    "In an abundance of caution, SunOpta is voluntarily extending the period during which it is recalling a limited number of sunflower kernel products that have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes."
    Listeria, also known by its scientific name of Listeria monocytogenes, can sometimes cause a serious infection that affects the gastrointestinal tract.
    The infection can cause short-term problems such as a high fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea, headaches, stiffness and nausea.
    They can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women, the elderly, children and anyone with a weak immune system due to a chronic condition.
    Some infections can cause death.
    The CDC estimates there are 1,600 illnesses and 260 U.S. deaths per year due to listeriosis infections.