Pacific International Marketing is recalling 19 cases of bulk Romaine lettuce sold at Vons and Pavilions stores in California and Nevada. The bulk Romaine lettuce was sold in bulk produce bins from July 2, 2012 through July 4, 2012; lettuce heads are banded with a red twist tie marked “Safeway.” The product was distributed in Pacific International Marketing Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) with 15 heads of Romaine in each RPC that was distributed in bulk with the code 12EASROM182 on the RPC. The recall affects RPCs only; no carton Romaine or bagged Romaine products are affected.
The firm advises consumers who may have purchased the recalled Romaine lettuce to discard it or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Customers should contact Pacific International Marketing by telephone at 1.831.755.1398 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time (PST), Monday through Friday; by telephone at 1.831.970.7658 (consumer contact Kirk Johnston); by email at [email protected]; or by U.S. mail to P.O. Box 3737, Salinas, California, A 93912-3737.
No illnesses have been reported, to date; however it can take between six and 72 hours from consumption of a contaminated product for the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning—salmonellosis—to appear. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Additional symptoms include chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting that can last up to seven days. The illness usually lasts four to seven days; however, in some, the organism can invade the bloodstream, becoming so severe that hospitalization is required. Sometimes, infection with the Salmonella pathogen can result in, and produce more severe or chronic illnesses and can leave sufferers with serious life-long health issues. One of the most common bacterial food borne illnesses, salmonellosis can be especially life threatening to those with weakened immune systems, such as infants; the elderly; and persons with compromised immune systems, such as people with HIV infection or who are undergoing chemotherapy.
This is not the first time Pacific International Marketing has had to issue a produce recall over Salmonella contamination. Last year, we wrote that Pacific International Marketing recalled 6,141 cartons of cilantro after a sample tested positive for Salmonella during an FDA Salmonella test taken at the distributor level. The cilantro originated from Salt River Farming in the Phoenix, Arizona area.
Bagged salads have been at the root of a number of Dole Fresh Vegetable recalls. We just wrote that Dole issued a recall 2,598 cases of Dole Hearts of Romaine salad over potential contamination with the Listeria monocytogenes pathogen. Last month we wrote that Dole issued an earlier recall for bagged salads, also over potential Listeria contamination and involving 1,077 cases of Kroger Fresh Selections Greener Supreme and Leafy Romaine salads and Walmart Marketside Leafy Romaine distributed in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Earlier this year, Dole Fresh Vegetables recalled other bagged salads for potential Salmonella contamination. In that case, a random sampling revealed a positive result for Salmonella in a test collected and conducted by the State of New York.