Dec 28, 2010 3:25 PM by Stefanie Boe

Safety First: Gingerbread house recall

Gingerbread houses sold at Whole Foods stores in Colorado are under recall and could make you sick. The pre-assembled houses were sold between November 1 and December 23.

The gingerbread houses have been linked to several food poisoning outbreaks across the nation caused by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). The houses were packaged in clear plastic wrap with a "Whole Foods Market" label. Some labels also may list the manufacturer's name, "Rolf's Patisserie," as part of the description. The gingerbread houses are trimmed with white icing and ready for decoration.

Consumers who have any of the gingerbread houses should not eat them but return them to the place of purchase for a refund. The houses also may be disposed of in a closed plastic bag and placed in a sealed trash can to prevent people or animals, including wild animals, from eating the product.

The gingerbread houses have been connected to several outbreaks of S. aureus food poisoning in 23 other states. To date, no illnesses have been reported in Colorado. Whole Foods Market has posted signs in its stores notifying customers of the recall.

Any food item contaminated with S. aureus, a bacterium responsible for producing toxins in foods, can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea. The illness usually lasts one to two days, although severe cases may last as long as three days. However, certain individuals, such as the elderly or very young, may require medical treatment for dehydration.

Individuals who may have consumed the gingerbread houses and are experiencing any of the above symptoms should contact their health care provider. Consumers with questions may contact Whole Foods Market at 512-542-0878 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Standard Time.



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