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Baby Carrots Recalled for Possible Shigella Contamination

Aug 23, 2007 | Parker Waichman LLP, LLP

Baby carrots that could be contaminated with Shigella bacteria are being recalled by the Los Angeles Salad Company, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced today.   The recall of the company’s “Genuine Sweet Baby Carrots” was initiated after some of the product tested positive for Shigella in Canada.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said that four  incidences of the disease in that country have been linked to the carrots.

The Shigella infection lasts up to 14 days and can cause bloody diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting.   The infection can occur when someone eats or drinks contaminated food or water, and Shigella be spread from person to person if an infected person does not wash their hands thoroughly.   Food contaminated with Shigella will not look spoiled or have an unusual odor.

The FDA said that the carrots were sold in packages with two labels.   “Los Angeles Salad Genuine Sweet Baby Carrots”  were distributed by Kroger Co. King Sooper stores in Colorado; Kroger Co. King Ralph’s in California; and Publix supermarkets in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina and Florida.   All of those carrots were sold in 7 and 8 ounce flexible plastic bags and had “sell by dates” up to and including August 16, 2007.

The other carrots were sold under the label “Trader Joe’s Genuine Sweet Baby Carrots” in 7 ounce flexible bags.  The baby carrots were sold in Trader Joe’s stores in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.   The bags bear “sell by dates” up to and including August 8, 2007.

The Centers for Disease Control says that about 18,000 cases of Shigella are reported each year.  However, mild cases of the disease might not be reported, so the number could be much higher.  Children, especially toddlers, are the most likely to get Shigella because they do not always wash their hands properly, and many cases of the disease originate at day cares and preschools. Though Shigella can be treated with antibiotics, the disease can be dangerous for the very young or old, and for those with weakened immune systems.

The FDA said that the recall was precautionary, and that no cases of Shigella related to the Los Angeles Salad Company’s baby carrots had yet been reported in the United States.  Customer’s who purchased the company’s “Genuine Sweet Baby Carrots” should return the product to the store where it was purchased for a refund.  Consumers with questions may contact the Los Angeles Salad Company at  1-626-322-9017.

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