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Simply Potatoes recalled

GRAND FORKS - A voluntary recall has been issued for Simply Potatoes refrigerated products after samples at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture tested positive for listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

The department issued a consumer advisory late Friday afternoon for products with "use by" dates of March 29 to April 3. The brand, product and UPC Codes are:

- Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns, 20-ounce bag, 20169-22233.

- Simply Potatoes Southwest Style Hash Browns, 20-ounce bag, 20169-22236.

- Simply Potatoes Homestyle Slices, 20-ounce bag, 20169-22237.

- Simply Potatoes Red Potato Wedges, 20-ounce bag, 20169-22238.

- Diners Choice Shredded Hash Browns, 2-pound bag, 20169-22223.

- Farm Fresh Shredded Hash Browns, 16-ounce bag, 20169-22533.

"We'll plan on taking those off the shelf if we find them," said Jonathan Wilsnack, nighttime manager at Hugo's on 32nd Avenue South in Grand Forks. Managers at SuperTarget and Super One Foods said they also would look into the matter.

The recall comes from Northern Star Co., which produces the products. Consumers may return the products to the store where they were purchased for a full refund or replacement. Consumer inquiries for Northern Star Co. can be directed to (800) 228-8105.

There are no reports of illness from eating the products. Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially serious disease marked by fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. It can cause fatal infections in high-risk groups such as infants, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis also can lead to miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women.

Any consumers who believe they may have become ill after eating the product should contact their health care provider and the Minnesota Foodborne Illness Hotline toll free at (877) 366-3455.

Northern Star Co. potato products are considered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a "not ready to eat" product, meaning consumers must cook them properly to ensure they are safe to eat. Cooking these products to an internal temperature of 160 degrees kills Listeria bacteria. But MDA believes that with similar "not ready to eat" products, consumers sometimes overlook the cooking instructions and simply heat such products in the microwave.