Lettuce Recall ExpandedAug 4, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP
Tanimura & Antle, Inc. of Salinas, California is expanding the geographic scope of its voluntary recall of bulk and wrapped romaine head lettuce, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced. The recall was implemented over concerns of Salmonella contamination.
Although the volume of cases from the single recalled lot has not changed, the company recognizes the possibility that some customers may have distributed the romaine in states beyond the original 29 cited. Because of this, Tanimura & Antle is extending the U.S. recall to all 50 states and also includes Puerto Rico and Canada, as initially indicated.
The original recall was issued after a random test conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture came back positive for Salmonella. To date, no illnesses have been linked to the finding and no other products are affected by the recall.
All customers who received the romaine directly from the company were notified on July 21 and advised to discard any existing product, which now is well past its shelf life, said the FDA. Romaine included in the recall was harvested from June 25 to July 2. Shelf life for romaine lettuce is about 14 to 16 days. The cartons of bulk or wrapped romaine being recalled were sold to retail, wholesale, and food service outlets.
Salmonella is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and arthritis.
Some Salmonella bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, largely due to the use of antibiotics to promote the growth of feed animals. Salmonella is usually found in food contaminated with animal feces and is a group of bacteria that passes from the feces of people or animals to other people or animals, causing contamination when food is improperly stored or handled and when preparers do not wash their hands or sanitize implements involved in food storage.Salmonella is the most frequently reported cause of food-related outbreaks of stomach illness worldwide and Salmonella poisoning can lead to Reiter’s Syndrome, a difficult-to-treat reactive arthritis characterized by severe joint pain, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination.
Consumers with questions or who need information may call Tanimura & Antle, toll-free at 1-877-827-7388 or visit the firm’s Web site for updates at www.taproduce.com.