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A frozen biscuit dough recall enacted by the T. Marzetti Company of Westerville, OH, has affected numerous brand names and retail outlets, the Food and Drug Administration announced. The recall was done voluntarily by T. Marzetti as a precautionary measure because the dough might be contaminated with the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.

Frozen biscuit dough recall

None of the products (click on image to enlarge) are ready-to-eat. Following the baking instructions can reduce the risk of Listeria infection but won’t eliminate it. Consumers should not consume these products; they should throw them out or return them to the retail outlet where purchased.

The recall includes all “best by” dates of the buttermilk dough, T. Marzetti announced. The affected products were distributed in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

No illnesses have been reported.

Frozen biscuit dough recall: Listeria facts

Listeria monocytogenes, or L. monocytogenes, is a bacterium more commonly known as Listeria. It produces Listeriosis, a serious illness contracted by eating contaminated food.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 1,600 Americans are infected with Listeria yearly, and about 260 of them die. Because Listeriosis can escalate quickly and become dangerous, those infected generally require hospitalization.

Listeria can infect anyone, but those most susceptible to serious complications are pregnant women, babies, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.

Expectant mothers must be particularly vigilant because Listeria can spread to the baby and result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or infection. The CDC says 20 percent of affected pregnancies end in loss of the fetus, and 3 percent end in stillbirth.

Like many other foodborne diseases, Listeria grows in the digestive system but can spread to affect the bloodstream, major organs, and the central nervous system (including the brain). The incubation period can be anywhere from three days to two months, although symptoms usually are exhibited within the first month.

If the infection spreads to the nervous system, it can result in bacterial meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms can worsen to include headaches, a stiff neck, disorientation, convulsions, and light sensitivity. Hospitalization is required.