Heads up, coconut lovers: There's a new salmonella outbreak in the U.S., and it's been linked to frozen shredded coconut. Specifically, the Coconut Tree Brand Frozen Shredded Coconut, distributed by Evershing International Trading Company, is the likely source of the outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The multi-state outbreak has affected people in Oklahoma, Colorado, Washington, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. So far, 25 people have been infected, and six have been hospitalized as a result. Now, the CDC is urging retailers and restaurants not to serve or sell anything that uses this product and is urging all customers not to consume it.
The recalled product was sold in 16-ounce bags with the words "Coconut Tree Brand Shredded Coconut" on the label. Because it's a frozen product, it can last for several months if kept in the freezer. Even if it's been taken off store shelves, the product may still be in some people's freezers at home, so it's worth checking your freezer just in case.
(Photo Credit: CDC)
If you purchased the frozen shredded coconut in question, you can return it to the place of purchase for a refund. If you aren't sure whether the frozen shredded coconut in your home is the same brand, you can ask about that at the place of purchase as well. As always: When in doubt, throw it out!
As you probably know, salmonella is nothing to mess around with. Not only is the harmful bacteria one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the U.S., it's also especially dangerous for older adults, infants, and people with chronic diseases who consume it.
Even if you didn't personally buy this frozen shredded coconut, it's worth spreading the word to anyone you think might have purchased it. Let's do our part to help keep our loved ones safe!
Next, find out which foods out there actually last longer than the expiration dates on the labels: