More Recalls in Tomato Salmonella Scare

Tomatoes have been making headlines again for a Salmonella scare that is driving a number of recalls. This time, both the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued announcements about separate recalls involving potentially Salmonella-contaminated grape tomatoes.

Contamination with the Salmonella pathogen, which can cause the infection known as salmonellosis, can lead to serious consequences, most especially in the elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems, who may experience a more serious illness and symptoms. In these patients, the infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites, and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that people suffering from salmonellosis usually experience symptoms beginning 12 to 72 hours after becoming contaminated. Symptoms may include fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea, usually lasting 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without antibiotic treatment; however, diarrhea can be very severe, and hospitalization may be required.

FSIS: Taylor Farms Pacific, Tracy, California
We recently wrote that the FDA announced a recall by Taylor Farms Pacific for grape tomatoes. This announcement is for a recall is for about 22,000 pounds of ready-to-eat fresh salad products that contain meat and poultry—foods overseen by the USDA—because the grape tomatoes (which are overseen by the FDA) used in these products may be contaminated with Salmonella. This recall has been identified as a Class I, the USDA’s most serious designation and is indicative of a health hazard situation in which there exists a reasonable probability that the use of the recalled product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

The problem was discovered when Six L’s, Taylor Farms Pacific’ tomato supplier, notified Taylor Farms that a specific lot of grape tomatoes was being recalled due to potential Salmonella contamination. Taylor Farms Pacific, in conjunction with the FDA, announced the recall of products containing the grape tomatoes on May 2, 2011 when some of the USDA-regulated products might have been included in that release.

This recall involves a variety of salad products packaged for consumers, which bear a label with the establishment number “EST. 34013″ or “P-34013″ inside the USDA mark of inspection and the use-by date as detailed in the FSIS announcement.

The involved products were produced from April 20–24, 2011, which were sent to distribution centers in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and Washington for further distribution to retail stores. Also, products packaged for retailers, with the establishment number “EST. 34013″ or “P-34013″ inside the USDA mark of inspection and the use-by date as indicated in the FSIS detailed listing. These products were produced on various dates from April 20 and April 27, 2011. When repackaged into individual kits, the packages do not bear the USDA mark of inspection or the establishment number. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on FSIS’ website.

Taylor Farms’ Customer Service Manager, Cary Price, can be reached at 1.209.835.6300. Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

FDA: Mastronardi Produce of Kingsville, Ontario
Mastronardi Produce is voluntarily recalling a limited quantity of grape tomatoes, which are linked to a prior recall on which we’ve reported that was initiated by Six L’s Packing Company of Immokalee, Florida on April 29, 2011. No illnesses have been reported in connection with this recall; however, it can take some time for the effects of Salmonella poisoning to manifest. The following items are subject to this recall:

• Aldi “From the Vine” Grape Tomatoes: 1-pint clamshell; UPC 0 33383 65585 7; lot numbers 41141, 41144, and 41149; Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

• Sunset Grape Tomatoes: 1-pint clamshell; UPC 0 57836 65585 0; lot numbers 40665, 40667,
40673, 40883,
40955, 40986,
40989, 40990,
40991, 41148,
41154, 41155
41160; Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin.

• Sunset Grape Tomatoes: 2-pound clamshell; UPC 0 57836 65586 7; lot number 40680; New Jersey.

• Trader Joe’s Splendido Little Tomatoes: 12-ounce clamshell; UPC 0080 8606; lot numbers40675, 40676,
and 41142; Eastern Seaboard and Midwest Locations.

The lot number is on the side of the UPC and is in a vertical position. Direct Accounts that received these lots have been formally notified and Direct Accounts that were not formally notified are not involved in this recall. This recall does not include any other tomato products distributed by Mastronardi Produce. Consumers who purchased tomatoes from the recalled lot are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Mastronardi Produce can be reached at 1.734.943.0276, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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