Salmonella Prompts Recall Of Serrano, Jalapeno Peppers

Cal Fresco, LLC just issued a recall of fresh Jalapeño and Serrano chili peppers over potential contamination with Salmonella pathogen, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) just announced. Cal Fresco is collaborating with the agency and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on recall coordination.

The recalls followed a random sampling event on December 12, 2011 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which revealed the presence of Salmonella on some peppers. The FDA advised Cal Fresco that a random sample of its Jalapeño and Serrano tested positive for the Salmonella pathogen. Although the contamination origin is unknown, Cal Fresco’s recall and traceability program enabled the company to identify the supplier of the recalled peppers, which originated in Mexico. Cal Fresco has ceased the distribution of all produce from this supplier while it, the FDA, and the CDPH investigate the contamination’s source.

The recalled Jalapeño and Serrano peppers are typically sold at the retail level in bulk by weight and have no retail packaging. All retail suppliers who received this product have been notified and were directed to immediately remove and destroy any remaining product in their inventory. No illnesses have been reported to date and no other Cal Fresco product has been affected by this recall. Cal Fresco can be reached at 1.714.690.7700 between 5:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST).


Jalapeño Peppers

This recall involves one lot—Lot #205610—of about 18,500 pounds of Jalapeño peppers that was distributed to retail stores in California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, and Canada between December 3 and 5, 2011. The product was shipped in cases under both the Cal Fresco (10- and 25-pound cases) and Grower Alliance (40-pound case) labels. Consumers who purchased the recalled Jalapeño peppers between December 3 and 21, 2011 should contact the store from where they purchased the product and inquire as to whether the affected product was sold by that store location. If so, the customer should discard or return any unused product to that store for a refund.

Serrano Peppers

Based on information provided to Cal Fresco by the FDA and CDPH, the Serrano peppers were delivered to a retail distribution center Spokane, Washington on December 8, 2011. Because the USDA Sample and Isolated Pathogen Information Report failed to disclose individual lot numbers, and because the results of that report were not provided to Cal Fresco until December 19, 2011, five days after the sampling occurred, Cal Fresco is relying on data provided by the FDA and CDPH to trace the contaminated peppers to their source and identified the affected peppers as being part of Lot #205467, originating in Mexico.

All retail suppliers that received this affected product are located in Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Vancouver, Canada; Southern California; Alaska; Washington; and Dallas, Texas. Consumers who purchased the recalled Serrano peppers between December 8 and 21, 2011 should contact the store from where they purchased the product and inquire as to whether the affected product was sold by that store location. If so, the customer should discard or return any unused product to that store for a refund.


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