Frozen Vegetable Plant Behind Massive Listeria Recall Preparing To Reopen, Put Everyone Back To Work

Image courtesy of Sean T Evans

As far as the public knows, public health authorities and the people in charge at the the CRF frozen vegetable processing plant in Pasco, WA don’t yet know what caused a multi-year Listeria outbreak. The company had to recall its entire output for almost the entire last two years, and shut down operations, leaving hundreds of people without work.

The plant now wants to open back up, which will require government inspections and regulatory approval to begin processing vegetables again. The public may never find out precisely what was happening inside the plant or where the Listeria came from, since some of the needed information is proprietary and related to the company’s vegetable supply chain.

Even though there was a massive amount of food involved in this outbreak, there have been surprisingly few reported illnesses, potentially because people cook raw vegetables, usually at a high enough temperature to kill Listeria.

That pathogen can be very tricky and hard to track down in a facility, and it’s possible that CRF will never know where the contamination came from in their plant. If the business survives the shutdown and potential lawsuits from their packaging clients, it should be okay when they go back online: just ask Blue Bell.

Pasco frozen food processor aims to restart production after recall [Tri-City Herald]
CRF frozen veg plant looks to reopen; Listeria cause unknown [Food Safety News]