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Barbados on lookout for potentially fatal Granola Bars

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is investigating whether a product of the Quaker Oats Company believed to be contaminated with a potentially fatal bacterium, has found its way to Barbados.

One of the Quaker products that has been recalled.

One of the Quaker products that has been recalled.

While the department has made it clear that there had been no reports here of any illnesses associated with the Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars, it wanted to ensure that the contaminated products were not available here.

The Quaker Oats Company, a unit of PepsiCo Inc, yesterday announced a voluntary recall of the products after an ingredient supplier was found to have distributed sunflower kernels that may have been contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes.

The bacterium causes Listeriosis, a serious and sometimes fatal infection in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In pregnant women, infection can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn and the disease has a high fatality rate in the susceptible population, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

The WHO added that symptoms of infection included fever, muscle aches, and sometimes nausea or diarrhea, and that infection was usually mild in otherwise healthy individuals.

The Quaker Oats Company said it was recalling the 6.1 ounce boxes of Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars Chocolate Nut Medley with UPC number 30000 32241 and the 6.1 ounce boxes of Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars Yogurt, Fruit & Nut with UPC number 30000 32243. The products have “best before” dates of between October 10 and October 17, 2016.

In a statement, the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs said its Trading Standard Inspectorate section was “currently working with importers and distributors to ascertain whether these items have been imported into Barbados. It is important to note that there have been no reports of illness associated with these products to date.”

It also advised persons who have travelled and bought Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars to confirm that they did not have any of the recalled products. (SD)

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