Watermelon Recall Includes Product in RaceTrac Stores

Listeria monocytogenes detected on packaging equipment
racetrac watermelon chunks
Photograph courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

SPRING, Texas — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and produce supplier Country Fresh have issued a voluntary recall of its packaged watermelon chunks that includes shipments to RaceTrac convenience stores and Walmart stores.

The recall is a precautionary measure due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes detected on equipment used in packing this product, the FDA said. FDA made these findings during a recent inspection.

Listeria monocytogenes is 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.

The recall affects product codes of watermelon items shipped directly to Walmart and RaceTrac’s retail distribution centers and select stores located in Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. The product was packaged in a variety of clam shell containers. The best-if-used by dates of Oct. 2, 3 and 4, 2020.

In RaceTrac stores, the recall includes 5.5-ounce containers labeled with UPC Code 74641000644 and the Melon Trio 5.5-ounce package, UPC Code 74641031945.

With 555 c-stores, Atlanta-based RaceTrac ranked No. 15 on CSP’s 2020 Top 202 list of the largest c-store chains in the United States.

Country Fresh, Spring, Texas, has not received any reports of illnesses to date associated with these recalled items. The recalled products were distributed from Sept. 23-25. RaceTrac and Walmart retail stores are removing the recalled product from store shelves and inventories. Customers with recalled watermelon should discard it immediately and not consume it.

Country Fresh is working in close coordination with the FDA in its continuing investigation to resolve the matter.

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