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Publix pulls Vidalia onions from shelves due to contamination concerns

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A&M Farms of Lyons, Georgia, is recalling select whole Vidalia onions packed on one pack line between June 20 – June 23, 2022, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Consumers can identify the recalled Vidalia Onions by the purchase location, PLU 4159, and Little Bear brand on the PLU sticker as provided in the table at the end of the notice. The recalled Vidalia Onions are sold in bulk in the produce section of retail stores. The recalled Little Bear onions were available for sale to consumers on June 23 and 24 at WegmansExternal Link Disclaimer stores in the Rochester-area, Massachusetts, and at the Erie West and Erie Peach Street Wegmans stores in Pennsylvania.

The onions were also available for sale June 22 – 24, 2022 at Publix stores in the state of Florida and in Publix stores in Georgia in Barrow, Clarke, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Jackson, Oconee, and Walton counties. No other onions are included in this recall notice.

To date, no illnesses or adverse events have been reported. The company shipped the recalled product directly to retailer distribution centers in Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. The distribution centers further distributed the recalled product to retail stores in Florida, Georgia, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

The recall comes after internal company testing detected Listeria on a single pack line. Although the company cleans and sanitizes its pack lines regularly, it is recalling onions packed on the implicated packing line before and after June 21 out of an abundance of caution. No other products grown, packed, or sold by A&M Farms are affected by this recall.

Anyone who has the recalled product in their possession should not consume it. The product should be disposed of and may return to the place of purchase with a receipt for a refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company’s information desk at 1-912-585-2058, M-F, 8 am – 4 pm EDT.

A&M Farms immediately notified customers who received the recalled product directly from the company and requested that they remove it from inventory. As a result, the product was available for retail purchase only at the stores and during the dates listed in the table.

A&M Farms is issuing this press release and keeping the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Georgia Department of Agriculture informed of its recall process to assure that consumers are properly alerted.

“The health and safety of consumers are our top priorities here at A&M Farms. We are glad that most of the implicated product never reached stores, but we are focused intently on alerting consumers in those areas that did receive the onions,” said Aries Haygood, co-owner of A&M Farms. “We stopped packing

on the implicated line, and I am personally overseeing a full cleaning and sanitation of the equipment and an internal review of our processes.”

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