Popular Packaged Veggies From Green Giant and Trader Joe’s Are Being Recalled Over Listeria Concerns

Pedro_Turrini, iStock / Getty Images Plus
Pedro_Turrini, iStock / Getty Images Plus

If you were looking for an excuse to forgo a healthy dinner tonight and just order a pizza, you can thank Growers Express: The manufacturer has issued a voluntary recall of several popular packaged vegetables due to possible contamination with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, CNN reports.

According to a notice released on Monday by the Food and Drug Administration, the affected vegetables include butternut squash, cauliflower, zucchini, and some vegetable bowls sold by the brands Green Giant, Trader Joe’s, and Signature Farms.

The vegetables in question came from a factory in Biddeford, Maine, and they were mostly shipped to retailers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Maine. But even if you don't live in those states, check the FDA’s full chart of states and stores to see if yours is on the list, too. Be extra wary of products with “Best if Used By” dates from June 26 to June 29, 2019, which are at the highest risk for contamination.

The good news is that only the specific packaged vegetables on the list are recalled—no need to toss your frozen or canned vegetables.

Symptoms of Listeria infection include high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Young children, frail or elderly people, and people with weakened immune systems are especially susceptible to contracting an infection from the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium, and it can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should seek medical care if you feel any symptoms within two months of eating possibly contaminated food, and you’ll likely be prescribed antibiotics.

Luckily, no cases of illness have been reported yet. Growers Express voluntarily decided to recall the vegetables after the Massachusetts Department of Health notified the company of one positive sample in its factory.

"We are deep sanitizing the entire facility and our line equipment, as well as conducting continued testing on top of our usual battery of sanitation and quality and safety tests before resuming production," Growers Express president Tom Byrne said in a press release.

[h/t CNN]

Oscar Mayer Is Renting Out the Wienermobile on Airbnb For Overnight Stays

Airbnb
Airbnb

Oscar Mayer is about to make all of your hot dog dreams come true. To celebrate National Hot Dog Day (today), the meat-industry titan has listed its legendary Wienermobile on Airbnb for overnight stays. Mark your calendars for July 24, when reservation opportunities will go live throughout the day, with prices starting at $136 per night.

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile on Airbnb
Airbnb

The 27-foot-long locomotive hot dog, parked in Chicago, can accommodate two people and includes a sofa bed, sitting area, and outdoor space with a bathroom and “hot dog picnic zone” where you can lounge in Adirondack chairs while enjoying a savory snack. The 'mobile will also be packed with all the hot dog amenities you didn’t know you needed: Highlights include a mini fridge stocked with hot dogs and Chicago-style fixings, a custom Wienermobile art piece by Chicago artist Laura Kiro, and an Oscar Mayer roller grill that you get to keep forever. And that’s not the only souvenir: each guest will also receive a welcome kit with as-yet-unidentified “hot dog-inspired accessories.”

Other features include air conditioning, free parking, breakfast, a hair dryer, and the essentials: towels, bed sheets, soap, shampoo, and toilet paper.

Interior of Wienermobile on Airbnb
Airbnb

Interior of Wienermobile on Airbnb
Airbnb

The booking dates overlap with Chicago’s famed Grant Park music festival Lollapalooza, which takes place from August 1 through 4. The lineup this year includes Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, The Strokes, and Kacey Musgraves, to name a few. What better way to stay nourished and well-rested after a musical marathon than in a cozy, oblong automobile filled with meat?

If you can't book a Wienermobile getaway, you can still celebrate July as National Hot Dog Month by hosting your own hot dog picnic wherever you are (just make sure you know the proper way to plate, dress, serve, and chow down on a plate full of frankfurters).

Check out the full listing on Airbnb.

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Why Are There 10 Hot Dogs to a Pack But Only 8 Buns?

tacar/iStock via Getty Images
tacar/iStock via Getty Images

Watching competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut cram dozens of hot dogs down his throat would make anyone crave a grilled log of processed meat this summer. But shopping for hot dogs can be a confusing experience. The dogs are typically sold in packs of 10, but the buns are sold in packs of eight. What's behind this strange dog and bun inequality?

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council—yes, there is a National Hot Dog and Sausage Council—there’s a good reason for the discrepancy. For starters, distributors of hot dogs are almost always different from manufacturers of baked goods like rolls. The hot dogs are sold in packs of 10 because producers of meat (or meat-like) products selected that quantity when hot dogs started to sell at retail grocery stores in the 1940s. Oscar Mayer, which led the charge into direct-to-consumer hot dog packaging, sold hot dogs by the pound in accordance with how meat is typically priced. Having 10 dogs that weighed 1.6 ounces each seemed like the ideal distribution of weight.

Bakeries, meanwhile, have standards of their own. Buns and sandwich rolls are usually sold eight to a pack because the baking trays for the elongated buns are typically sized to fit that number. Two sets of four buns come off the tray, which is the reason why buns are often still attached to one another when you open a bag.

These standards were created independently of one another: Bakeries weren’t too preoccupied with hot dogs when they were settling on a four-roll tray standard, and hot dog manufacturers weren’t thinking about how difficult it would be for bakeries to break from their conveyor system to offer 10 buns to a pack.

It can be frustrating if you buy just one or two packages of each, but if you’re hosting a big enough party, the uneven number doesn’t matter. You just need to buy five packages of buns and four packages of hot dogs to have 40 matching pairs. No complicated calculations required.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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