Salmonella Prompts Grape Tomato Recall

Front Row Produce of St. Louis Missouri just issued a recall of its 10-ounce pint and 10-pound bulk grape tomatoes over Salmonella contamination concerns, the U.S. food & Drug Administration (FDA) just announced. The recalled grape tomatoes were supplied by Rio Queen Citrus, Mission, Texas and distributed throughout Missouri and Illinois to food service distributors and retail stores.

The recalled grape tomatoes distributed for retail sale are packaged in a 10-ounce, clear plastic packages marked with a Front Row Produce “Grape Tomatoes” label on the top of the package. Currently, the lot number does not appear on the clear plastic package, but does appear on the case label and are 2310802, 2310405, or 2510401.

As of December 1, 2011, all shipments of Front Row Produce Grape Tomatoes packaged in clear 10-ounce plastic packages sold in retail stores will now have a green lot number sticker placed on the bottom side of each package that consists of a 7-digit number used to aid in identifying specific shipments of product. Any packages that do not contain this green sticker should be considered suspect and under recall.

The 10-pound bulk grape tomatoes are packaged for wholesale in a plain brown cardboard box labeled only with lot # 2310801.
The contamination was discovered after random testing by Rio Queen Citrus, Mission Texas, revealed the presence of Salmonella in some 20-pound bulk containers. Production of the product has been suspended while the FDA and the firm continue to investigate the source of the problem.

Consumers who have purchased 10-ounce packages of Front Row Produce “Grape Tomatoes” or other customers who have purchased the 10-pound bulk cases of grape tomatoes are urged to discard the product. Front Row Produce can be reached at 1.314.241.4700, Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or Saturday through Sunday, from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
We recently wrote that Greencore USA, Inc. recalled about 57 pounds of salad products, because the grape tomatoes used in the salads might be contaminated with the Salmonella pathogen. The potential contamination was discovered when Pearson Foods, the grape tomato supplier, advised that one lot of grape tomatoes was being recalled due to potential Salmonella contamination. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) previously announced this recall of grape tomatoes on September 28, 2011.

The FDA also announced that Thorntons, Inc. issued a recall of its 6-ounce Garden and 5.6-ounce Chef Salads over concerns about Salmonella contamination because these recalled salads were manufactured and distributed by Greencore. Just prior, we wrote that Andrew Williamson Fresh Produce recalled one lot of its organic grape tomatoes sold under the Limited Edition® and Fresh & Easy labels, over a possible health risk from the dangerous Salmonella pathogen. That recall initially involved 18 states and was expanded in its geographic scope to include all states in the U.S. The recall also includes the two Canadian Provinces of British Columbia and Ontario.

No illnesses have been reported, to date, in connection with this problem; however, it can take some time from purchase to consumption and, then, from consumption, to present with illness symptoms. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis—Salmonella infection—are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever with symptoms manifesting, usually within 6 – 72 hours.

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. And, sometimes, infection can result in, and produce other more, severe or chronic illnesses. Salmonella can be dangerous, sometimes deadly, leaving sufferers with serious life-long health issues and can be especially life threatening to those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or who are undergoing chemotherapy.

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