Ah, sunflower seeds, a tasty treat packed with protein and healthy fat. The perfect healthy food – umm, except right now.
We are in the midst of a massive recall of sunflower seeds that may be contaminated with Listeria moncytogenes, a nasty, nasty bacteria that can cause everything from flu-like symptoms to meningitis and seizure. It’s particularly important to prevent Listeria from reaching older people, kids and pregnant women, who can suffer miscarriages or stillbirths.
A company called SunOpta recently found Listeria in its bulk sunflower seeds. The news has prompted the recall of hundreds of items sold under scores of brands in stores ranging from supermarkets to sporting goods stores, including Bass Pro Shops. The Consumerist website points out that the list of recalled products is so long that “you wouldn’t even skim that entire list even if we printed it.” Incredibly, not all the recalls have been widely publicized.
Their suggestion: Completely avoid any foods with sunflower seeds for the time being. That won’t be easy, considering sunflower seeds are found in granola, snack bars, protein bars, cereals, even cookies. If you are craving a particular sunflower-laced product, you could go to the manufacturer’s website and check to see what they have to say about the recall. (Yes, it’s a pain, but if you a really need that fix…)
This story provides a good reminder that we should read labels on all the foods we buy. After all, dangerous bacteria isn’t the biggest health threat posed by what we eat. That comes from the excessive calories, salt and sugar that are all revealed on those little labels.
Be sure you have your readers next time you go grocery shopping. They could save your life – in the short-term or long-term.