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Food Safety

Salads, Wraps Sold at Trader Joe's Recalled

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Mon, Nov 11, 2013 at 11:06 AM

click to enlarge A Glass Onion chicken wrap - GLASSONIONCATERING.COM
Ninety tons of ready-to-eat salads and sandwiches produced by a California company have been recalled due to E. coli contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says. (Yes, it's the chicken again. And maybe the ham, too. )

Glass Onion Catering in Richmond, Calif., is recalling almost 200,000 pounds of salads and sandwich wrap products with fully-cooked chicken and ham that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, according to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. The products have been linked to 26 sick patients in three states.

Glass Onion Catering provides food for retailer brands including Trader Joe's, Super Fresh Foods and Delish.

The products were produced between Sept. 23 and Nov. 6 and shipped to distributions centers intended for retail sale in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington, the USDA said.

Products include Trader Joe's Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken, Trader Joe's Mexicali Salad with Chili Lime Chicken, Athertone Fine Foods Southwestern Style White Chicken Wrap with Chimichurri Sauce, Super Fresh Foods California Grilled Chicken Salad with Low Fat Mendocino Mustard Dressing, Lunch Spot Southwestern Style Chicken Wrap with Chile & Lime Dressing, Delish Pan Pacific Chop Salad, Delish California Style Grilled Chicken Salad, Delish Uncured Applewood Smoked Ham & Cheese Wrap and Delish Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap.

They might want to rethink that "Delish" thing.

The USDA was notified by the Food and Drug Administration on November 6 that California authorities had reported "issues" in people consuming pre-packaged salads with grilled chicken. The CDC, FDA and state authorities have linked the E. Coli strain to 26 patients in three states.

The first illnesses occurred in Arizona, California and Washington, with the first one reported on September 29 and the most recent case on October 26. The USDA says that 15 of the 26 people so far identified in the outbreak reported eating ready-to-eat salads before they got sick. The agency is calling it a "Class 1" outbreak, which means the health risk is "high." ("This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.")

Meanwhile, Athertone Foods, also in Richmond and related to Glass Onion, is recalling vegetarian salads and wraps that were distributed to Walgreen's, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods (gasp!) stores in California. Those items include the Delish Greek Orzo Salad, the Delish Asian Style Noodle Salad, the Delish Vegetarian Wrap, the Classic Greek Salad, the Southwestern Salad Kit and the Wheatberry Salad Kit. These products have "Best Buy" dates of 9-23-13 through 11-14-13. None of these products have been linked to illnesses yet, however.

The full list of recalled products will be available shortly on the FDA's website.

A full investigation is currently underway in order to identify the source of contamination. In the meantime, all retailers have been notified to cease selling these products from Glass Onion and Athertone Foods.

Consumers who purchased the contaminated products are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund or dispose of it. Consumers with questions may contact Athertone Foods at (510) 236-8905, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. PST.

And hey TJ's, remember those three tons of bbq chicken salad you recalled last year? It kinda feels like Groundhog Day, huh? Once again we urge you to check your suppliers, or we may have to break up with you. We like you, but we're not so sure about your friends.


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