(CBS News) — Del Monte Foods is recalling more than 64,000 cases of incompletely sterilized canned corn that could cause life-threatening illness if consumed. Walmart and Target are among the retailers in 25 states and 12 countries that sold the recalled product, the food producer said.
The recall of 64,242 cases of “Fiesta Corn” seasoned with red and green peppers was due to under-processing, the company said in a notice posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The missed steps from the commercial sterilization process could result in spoilage and possible contamination with life-threatening pathogens, if eaten, Del Monte warned. There have not been any reports of illness as a result of the products, the company added.
A central concern with under-processing canned food is the potential growth of bacteria, including clostridium botulinum, which creates toxins that cause botulism poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2016, there were 205 confirmed cases of botulism in the U.S., with 29 illnesses, including two fatalities, resulting from tainted food, the CDC’s figures show.
The current Del Monte recall involves 15.25-ounce (432g) cans with the following UPC number printed on the label: 24000 02770.
The product will also have one of the following “Best if Used By” dates stamped on the bottom of the can: Aug. 14, 2021; Aug. 15, 2021; Aug. 16, 2021; Sept. 3, 2021; Sept. 4, 2021, Sept. 5, 2021, Sept. 6, 2021; Sept. 22, 2021, or Sept. 23, 2021.
It sold in 25 states: Alaska, Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri and North Carolina. Also: New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
It also sold in the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, El Salvador, Haiti, Guyana, Uruguay, Aruba, Panama, Saint Lucia and Suriname.
Consumers who purchased the recalled product can return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or exchange, Del Monte said. Those with questions can call (800) 779-7035 during business hours Monday through Friday.