If you bought packaged "Curry Chicken Salad" or "Classic Deli Pasta Salad" from Whole Foods in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and four other Northeast states, you should throw it out. Because the Food and Drug Administration announced the products may be contaminated with Listeria. Luckily, no one has fallen ill (yet).
Here's the FDA's press release:
Whole Foods Market of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is recalling bulk and packaged Curry Chicken Salad and Classic Deli Pasta Salad sold in stores in ME, NH, MA, RI, CT, NY and NJ because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria Monocytogenes, an organism which 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 should seek immediate medical care if they develop these symptoms.
No illnesses have been reported.
The salads were sold prepackaged, in salad bars, in store's chef's cases and in sandwiches and wraps prepared in the stores. The effected products were sold in stores between October 18 and October 22, 2015 and have a "sell by" date of October 23, 2015...
A sampling of the products tested positive for Listeria Monocytogenes during a routine inspection of Whole Foods Market's North Atlantic Kitchen facility.
Consumers who have purchased this product from Whole Foods Market should discard it and bring their receipt to the store for a full refund. Consumers with questions should contact their local store or call 617-492-5500 between the hours of 9am and 5pm EST.
You can see the list of products, as well as labeling, at the FDA's site.
Food safety attorney Bill Marler, who was profiled in the New Yorker earlier this year (the feature is really eye-opening about the bureaucracy between you and safe food), has an explanation of listeria on his site: "It is thought that ingestion of as few as 1,000 cells of Listeria bacteria can result in illness. After ingestion of food contaminated with Listeria, incubation periods (from time of exposure to onset of illness) are in the range of one to eight weeks, averaging about 31 days. Five days to three weeks after ingestion, Listeria has access to all body areas and may involve the central nervous system, heart, eyes, or other locations... Human cases of listeriosis are, for the most part, sporadic and treatable. Nonetheless, Listeria remains an important threat to public health, especially among those most susceptible to this disease."