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Muranaka Farm Recalls Parsley Over Salmonella Concerns

Sep 14, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP Muranaka Farm, Inc. of Moorpark, California, is recalling 1005 cases of 60-count bunched Parsley over concerns it was potentially contaminated with the dangerous, sometimes deadly, Salmonella pathogen, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced.

The Salmonella pathogen can cause serious, sometimes fatal Salmonellosis infections in young children; weak or elderly people; and those with weakened immune systems, such as patients undergoing chemotherapy or who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and other immune system compromising diseases. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain within 12 to 72 hours of contamination. Generally, the illness lasts a week, but, in some, hospitalization is required because the infection may have spread to the blood stream and other body sites, producing more significant illnesses. Without treatment, severe cases of Salmonella poisoning can result in arterial infections—such as infected aneurysms—endocarditis, arthritis, and death.

Some Salmonella bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, largely due to the use of antibiotics to promote the growth of feed animals. Salmonella poisoning can also lead to Reiter’s Syndrome, a difficult-to-treat reactive arthritis characterized by severe joint pain, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination.

The 1,005 cases of the 60-count fresh bunched Parsley bear Lot Code 0023909 and were distributed in 10 states: Arizona (30 cases), California (574 cases), Colorado (35 cases), Florida (60 Cases), Iowa (3 cases), Illinois (1 case), Missouri (7 cases), Tennessee (5 cases), Texas (278 cases) and Wisconsin (12 cases). These cases were distributed within both retail and foodservice outlets. The FDA also stated that the product was shipped in a brown wax carton under the Muranaka Label with a parsley silhouette on the side. The Parsley bunches were banded using a red rubber band. The lot code number of 0023909 is on a sticker on the outside of the carton.

The recall was as the result of a voluntary sampling program conducted in cooperation with the FDA, which revealed that the finished products contained the bacteria. To date, no illnesses have been reported.

Consumers with questions may contact Muranaka Farm, Inc. at 1-805-529-0201 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST). The FDA is also urging consumers to contact their retailer to determine if the Parsley product they have purchased is from Muranaka Farm and is associated with Lot Code 0023909.

Greg Emi, President of Muranaka Farm said, "The health of all consumers is of the utmost importance to every employee of our company. With that in mind, even though this product is over two weeks old and most likely past the useable shelf life, we have taken immediate actions to ensure that all product is accounted for and out of the supply chain. We are working with all of our customers to insure this product is no longer being distributed." Muranaka Farm's trace recall program enabled the firm to immediately determine which customers purchased the recalled product as well as the amount of cases harvested, the crew harvesting the product, and the field on which the parsley was grown and harvested.

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