Salmonella Prompts Recall of Parsley, Cilantro

Little Bear Produce announced that after regulators confirm<"">ed Salmonella on its curly parsley in Quebec and cilantro in Detroit, J&D Produce Inc. initiated a recall of the items packed from November 30 through December 6. Products are packed under the Little Bear brand.

J&D Produce sells retail and wholesale with wholesalers potentially distributing to restaurants and other establishments, said Sharon McNerney, a public relations consultant for J&D Produce, wrote CNN. The company also “gathers, packs, and distributes” produce including carrots, limes, eggplants, peppers, greens, onions, melons, mangos, and asparagus, said CNN.

The Salmonella pathogen can cause serious, sometimes fatal, infections in young children, frail, or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy people infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Rarely, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and arthritis. Salmonellosis, the disease caused by the Salmonella bacteria, can last four to seven days, said the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Some 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported annually in the U.S.

“It’s imperative to protect public health, even if that means being overzealous in expanding the scope of the products we’re calling back,” said James Bassetti, president of J&D Produce Inc. “We will work closely with regulators, health officials, and our customers in bringing back the products.

“Meanwhile, we’ve already implemented immediate measures to make sure we minimize the likelihood of this re-occurring.” For example, upon learning of the test in Quebec, Bassetti ordered the shut down and re-sanitization of production lines; increased manual inspections; and implemented additional product rinse steps. Bassetti said he brought in external consultants to review and advise the company on additional microbiological sampling and its food safety protocols. “We have a good track record, but we’ll bring our expectations and standards to even higher levels,” he said.

Once Salmonella contamination was confirmed, U.S. and Canadian regulators and health officials increased inspections at J&D locations, according to president James Bassetti, said CNN.

Both products were packed in the same facility on the same production line. Out of caution, Bassetti said, the company decided to include additional commodities processed from the same line. “We’re all seeing increased inspections by regulators and health officials here in the U.S. and Canada, and that’s positive because it helps further ensure public health,” Bassetti said. “We will do a better job, and we’ve already begun improving our systems.”

It is possible that consumers may have purchased some of the recalled produce. Anyone in possession of the recalled produce is advised to dispose of, or return it, to the store where purchased for a full refund. For additional information, Little Bear Produce can be reached at 1.956.380.0353 or by email at

Meanwhile, CNN wrote that dozens fell ill after eating Salmonella-tainted alfalfa sprouts. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the outbreak has sickened 89 in 15 states and the District of Columbia, said CNN. Illnesses have been ongoing since November 1, with many reporting eating alfalfa sprouts in food from Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches stores; the FDA said the sprouts originated from Tiny Greens Organic Farm. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said 23 percent required hospitalization; there have been no fatalities, reported CNN.

Tiny Green’s alfalfa sprouts and spicy sprouts—alfalfa sprouts with radish and clover sprouts—were distributed in 4-ounce and 5-pound containers to farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and restaurants including the Jimmy John’s restaurant, said CNN. The company also distributes arugula, broccoli, fennel, cauliflower, onion, and radish, to name some, said CNN. In a letter to its Jimmy John’s franchisees, founder Jimmy John Liautaud said it removed the sprouts from all its Illinois locations. Sprouts were distributed in at least Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri.

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