Costco shoppers with an early craving for fall vegetables should check their fridge or freezer for pre-cut butternut squash that the big box retailer recently recalled due to possible E. coli contamination.
New Jersey-based food manufacturer Safeway Fresh Foods of Vineland, New Jersey, sent a letter to members, shared by Costco on the recalls page, who may have bought the affected product -- 2-pound plastic clam shell containers of pre-cut organic butternut squash -- from D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia Costco locations.
The wholesaler announced that impacted items bear the number #20522 above the barcode, and were purchased between Sept. 7 and Sept. 15, 2023.
The food producer wrote in its letter to Costco members that it had issued the recall "due to the discovery of E-Coli O45 in a single sample during routine testing by our Lab."
"Only product with the 09/19/2023 date code is affected by this recall. If you have any product with this date code remaining, do not consume. Please return the item to your local Costco for a full refund," said Howard Willis, Safeway Fresh Foods director of food safety.
People can become ill one to 10 days after consumption of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli -- or STEC -- bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms of infection include vomiting or diarrhea (sometimes bloody) that worsens over several days, according to the CDC, and most people recover within a week, though some may develop a more severe infection.