31 Food Recalls That Poisoned the Most People
11. Frescolina Marte
> No. of cases: 22
> No. of deaths: 4
Listeria was found in an Italian cheese importer’s Frescolina Marte ricotta salata cheese in 2012. The foodborne illness infected 22 people in 13 states and the District of Columbia, and was linked to four deaths and 20 hospitalizations. The cheese importer, Forever Cheese Inc., voluntarily recalled the product, and the CDC placed the exporter, Fattorie Chiarappa S.R.L., on import alert. That meant Fattorie Chiarappa’s cheese was denied entry to the U.S. until the company could prove the product was not contaminated with listeria.
10. Jack in the Box
> No. of cases: 500+
> No. of deaths: 4
One of the deadliest E. coli infections to date occurred in 1993 when over 500 people in Washington, Idaho, California, and Nevada contracted the foodborne illness after eating hamburgers from Jack in the Box. The outbreak was linked to 11 lots of patties produced by Von Companies of California. Jack in the Box issued a recall, but only 20 percent of the ground beef was recovered and the company lost approximately $160 million. The outbreak caused four deaths, one being a child, and more than 170 hospitalizations.
9. Natural Selection Foods
> No. of cases: 205
> No. of deaths: 5
In September 2006, five people died and 205 people were sickened by E. coli after eating contaminated spinach grown on a San Juan Bautista, California-based farm. Natural Selection Foods, which sold the leafy green vegetable under its Earthbound Farm brand, recalled the product later that month. A Washington Post story said Natural Selection supplied bagged spinach to 74 percent of the nation’s grocery stores.
8. Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce
> No. of cases: 907
> No. of deaths: 6
In 2015, cucumbers tainted with salmonella killed six people, hospitalized 204, and sickened 907 people in 40 states. The CDC determined that Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce had imported the vegetables from Mexico but the source of the contamination was not identified. Andrew & Williamson, based in San Diego, California, announced a recall of cucumbers in September 2015.
7. Peanut Corporation of America
> No. of cases: 600+
> No. of deaths: 8
One of the biggest salmonella outbreaks of all time occured between 2008 and 2009 when the pathogen was detected in Peanut Corporation of America’s peanut products. The outbreak infected over 600 people and killed eight in the U.S. and Canada. The company recalled more than 3,200 products and eventually filed for bankruptcy in February 2009.