Romaine Lettuce Recalled For Listeria

True Leaf Farms is recalling 90 cartons of chopped romaine lettuce over concerns the produce is contaminated with the dangerous, sometimes deadly, <"">Listeria monocytogenes pathogen, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced.

The recalled romaine lettuce was shipped September 12-13 to an institutional food service distributor located in Oregon. That distributor further sent the recalled romaine lettuce to at least two additional states: Washington State and Idaho. The potentially contaminated romaine lettuce affected by this recall has a “use by date” of 9/29/11.

Although no illnesses have been linked to this outbreak, it is very important to note that experts say that the effects of Listeria poisoning can take up to two months to manifest with listeriosis, the infection caused by the Listeria pathogen.

Listeriosis, which is a potentially fatal infection, can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, and nausea, and can also cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy. For susceptible people, including the developing fetus, listeriosis can cause serious illnesses linked to the central nervous system. Listeriosis infects about 2,500 people in the U.S.; 500 deaths are reported annually.

Listeria poisoning is of particular concern to pregnant women, who are 20 times likelier to be infected with listeriosis, which can kill fetuses, causing miscarriages and stillbirths. Listeriosis can also prompt premature births, can lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and can prompt neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.

The recalled bags of romaine were packed in True Leaf Farms cardboard cartons and distributed by Church Brothers, LLC, and shipped between September 12 and 13, 2011. All bags carry a “use by date” of 9/29/11. Produce affected by the recall was labeled as “2# bags, chopped romaine – Bag and box code B256-46438-8.” Photographs of the recalled product can be viewed at This recall includes only the chopped romaine lettuce described above.

The FDA notified the company that a sample taken as part of its random check from a single bag of chopped romaine tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. True Leaf Farms and the agency are collaborating on advising consumers and the firm is collaborating with its food service distribution customers to ensure that other romaine lettuce products that may be implicated are pulled from the market.

Consumers are advised not to consume the recalled romaine lettuce and to either destroy it or contact Church Brothers, LLC—True Leaf Farms’ sales agent—for product pickup. Church Brothers can be reached toll-free at 1.800.799.9475, or at for updates.

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