Mere days ago, the CDC and FDA advised us to chuck our onions. Yes, all the onions, they said; the red ones, the yellow ones, the white ones — all the onions must go, for fear of a multistate salmonella outbreak. That was bad enough, but now? Now a new host of relatively stable, hot-weather produce has come under attack. On Wednesday, the FDA announced a voluntary recall of red potatoes — as in the kind most commonly used in potato salad, a delightful summer treat — lemons, limes, and oranges. The citrus fruits have apparently been compromised, and in the hottest stretch of summer, no less.
Or, well, some of the citrus fruits: The FDA announced on August 9 that Wegmans Valencia oranges; Wegmans lemons and Freshhouse lemons; Freshouse limes; Natures Promise organic limes; and Fresh From the Start “Red B” potatoes, all sold by Freshouse II, LLC of Salisbury, North Carolina, had potentially been contaminated with listeria. More information on the products and lot numbers is available here.
CNN reports that the recalled products were shipped to distributors in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. No illnesses have yet been reported, and the company says it initiated the recall out of an “abundance of caution” after identifying the bacteria on a piece of packing-facility equipment. Still, consumers are advised to “destroy” any suspect produce in their refrigerators, to make sure nobody accidentally eats it. Listeria infection can cause diarrhea, nausea, fever, chills, and muscle aches, among other unpalatable symptoms, and is particularly risky for people who are pregnant or have weakened immune systems.
Anyway, if you, too, suspect that a freakishly high level of citrus consumption is the only thing that’s stood between you and scurvy throughout this pandemic, and if you, too, just popped a lime wedge into a heavily iced glass of seltzer, well, I won’t pretend this isn’t a blow. Take my onions, and whatever, take my potatoes, too. But please, not my citrus fruits. They have so much left to give.