River Ranch Fresh Foods, LLC of Salinas, California just issued a recall and an expansion of that recall for its bagged salads over potential Listeria contamination, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) just announced.
Routine random testing of finished retail salad products that were conducted in the marketplace by the FDA revealed the presence of the Listeria monocytogenes pathogen, which can be dangerous and, sometimes, deadly.
Recalled retail salad products were distributed nationwide and in Canada under a number of sizes and were packaged under the brand names River Ranch, Farm Stand, Hy-Vee, Marketside, Shurfresh, and The Farmer’s Market. Recalled foodservice salad products were distributed nationwide under an array of sizes and were packaged under the brand names River Ranch, Cross Valley, Fresh n Easy, Promark, and Sysco.
The recalled retail and foodservice salad bags bear either “Best By” code dates between 12MAY2012 and 29MAY2012 or Julian dates between 116 and 125. The code date can usually be found on the bag’s upper, right-hand corner. A complete listing of specific salad products, sizes, package types, UPCs, and distribution states can be accessed at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm304724.htm, http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm304725.htm, and http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm304742.htm.
To date, there have been no reports of illness; however, as we’ve long explained, it is important to bear in mind that the Listeria pathogen thrives in cold environments, such as refrigerators. The Listeria pathogen also has a fairly long incubation period—up to 70 days—and well tolerates heat and dry temperatures, adding further challenges to the pathogen’s eradication.
The firm advises consumers who have purchased this product not to consume it and are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. River Ranch can be reached at its 24-hour customer service center, toll-free, at 1.800.762.7708. or 1.888.624.2569.
As we’ve written, the Listeria monocytogenes pathogen can lead to the listeriosis infection, which is a potentially fatal infection that can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, and nausea, especially in those with weakened immune systems, infants, and the elderly. Vulnerable populations, such as the developing fetus, can suffer serious central nervous system problems. The infection can prompt premature births, or the death of the fetus via miscarriages and stillbirths. Pregnant women are 20 times likelier to become infected. Listeriosis can also lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and can prompt neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.
Meanwhile, last October, we wrote that River Ranch Fresh Foods recalled 2,154 cases of its range of bagged salad products over concerns that the produce was contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes pathogen. The decision to initiate that recall followed a routine random test conducted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.