Listeria Hysteria: Romaine Lettuce Recalled Over Contamination Fears
Stop! Put down that salad fork! No, not because you're using the wrong fork. California's True Leaf farms is recalling 2,498 cartons of chopped romaine lettuce because it may be contaminated with listeria bacteria, although no illnesses have yet been reported, according to MSNBC.
Ninety potentially infected boxes or cartons were shipped to supermarkets; the rest went to institutional settings like restaurants. None are believed to have been sent to markets in California, but they may have made their way to restaurants and other food providers here.
The FDA uncovered the bacteria as part of a random check of a single bag of the chopped lettuce. The greens were shipped between September 12 and 13 to a food service distributor in Oregon, who sent them on to at least two other states, Washington and Idaho, where they made their way to markets, the company's produce seller and marketer, Church Brothers LLC, said in a release.
The two-pound bags also made their way to Alaska. Additional products were shipped to wholesale food distributors in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, and Alberta, Canada. All of the lettuce affected by the recall has a September 29 use-by date.
Concerns over listeria contamination are heightened due to an outbreak linked to cantaloupes grown in Colorado, which has killed 13 people and infected 72 across 18 states. There is no connection between the lettuce recall and the outbreak tied to cantaloupes, according to the FDA.
Lettuce currently picked at the farm is safe to eat, said Steve Church, CEO of Church Brothers.
Listeriosis is a nasty illness that can be contracted from eating food contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Symptoms including fever and muscle aches sometimes preceded by diarrhea, and they can appear anywhere from three to 70 days after eating listeria-contaminated food. The average time for contracting it is 31 days after exposure. Those at greatest risk are newborns, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems or chronic diseases.
Anyone who has the lettuce in their possession should toss it (do not compost it) or call Church Brothers to come pick it up, according to the company's press release.
Consumers with questions can call Church Brothers at (800) 799-9475.
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