East Tennessee experts on green bean recall

By: Jessa Goddard
By: Jessa Goddard

Knoxville (WVLT) – A recall on green beans is affecting hundreds of facilities across Tennessee.

That’s because the cans of greens beans may be contaminated with bacteria that causes botulism.

So far there are no reports of people becoming sick.

The scary thing about the recall though is that it affects industrial size cans.

That means they were purchased primarily by day cares, schools and nursing homes.

But it appears the manufacturer moved quickly in informing each facility that may have bought them.

The experts say that even though green beans are a popular holiday side dish, it's highly unlikely you ate any of the recalled veggies over the past week.

That’s because the recall affects only food service cut green beans in the six pound, five ounce cans.

Regardless, it was cause for concern at the Brakebill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, just days before Christmas.

"We were notified on the 21st of December,” said Bobby Kelly, a certified dietary manager. “I was notified at home by way of an e-mail from our sales associate with Gordon Food Service."

Knox County’s food program manager Scott Bryan said the staff checked their inventory of green beans and had not received any of the recalled cans.

But if they had discovered them, the clostridium botulinum could have caused life-threatening illness.

"We work with a group of individuals with compromised immune systems a lot of times and it's really important that we have proper notification,” said Kelly.

But Brakebill is just one of seven facilities in Knox County affected by the recall.

Though, there are no confirmed cases of botulism in connection with the recall so far, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Even tiny amounts of toxins ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the eye or a break in the skin can cause serious illness.

The symptoms include general weakness, dizziness, double vision, trouble speaking and swallowing.

Additionally, it can cause difficulty breathing, muscle weakness and abdominal pain.

The lack of cases means the quick action by Gordon Food Services likely prevented a large outbreak.

"It is rare in a recall like this where they actually provided us a list of all the facilities that had received the shipment and instructions on what to tell the facilities," said Bryan

Gordon Food Services has instructed the affected facilities how to dispose of the cans safely.

Customers are not encouraged to return the cans, instead throw them away immediately and handle the cans as little as possible.

The way to do that is to double bag them in plastic bags that are tightly closed and throw them away in a secure outdoor trash can.

You can read more about the recall on the Hot Key.

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