- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 8, 2022

A vegan falafel brand sold at Aldi supermarkets has been voluntarily recalled after an outbreak of Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli caused 20 people to get sick in six states, the Food and Drug Administration said.

Product maker Cuisine Innovations Unlimited LLC announced a voluntary recall of their frozen Earth Grown Vegan brand falafel Friday for both the traditional, and garlic and herb varieties. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that 20 cases of Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infections were reported and linked to the recalled falafel between July 13 and Sept. 13. 

A CDC map shows that 11 people got sick in Michigan, four in Wisconsin, two in Florida, and one each in Ohio, Iowa, and Kansas.

There have been five hospitalizations as a result of the outbreak.

The recalled products possibly infected with STEC were shipped to Aldi stores, where they are sold exclusively.

The frozen falafel was sold at Aldi locations in “Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin,” according to the FDA.

Consumers should check their freezers for boxes sold after June 24, 2021. Identifying lot numbers can be found on the part of the box where the “best if used by” date is located.

Lot numbers “1472, 1481, 1531, 1532, 1541, 1552, 1561, 1581, 1601, 1611, 1612, 1661, 1682, 1732, 1752, 1762, 1782, 1802, and 1812,” are implicated in the falafel recall, according to the FDA.

“If customers have product(s) affected by this voluntary recall, they should discard it immediately or return it to their local store for a full refund. … ALDI sincerely regrets any inconvenience and concern this recall may cause,” Aldi said in its announcement of the recall.

• Brad Matthews can be reached at bmatthews@washingtontimes.com.

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