Salmonella detected in fresh produce and spices has prompted two new food recalls, the Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday.
Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, 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.
A recall of iceless green onions grown and packed in Mexicali, Mexico, has expanded. No illnesses have been confirmed, but salmonella was detected during federal testing. Steinbeck Country Produce is recalling green onions with lot code numbers 96CPGO07 or 9CPO937 shipped between August 4 and August 22, 2009.
The recall includes 3,360 cartons of 4 count/2 pound, 2 count/24 bunch and 4 count/12 bunch bags of iceless green onions packed under the "Natures Reward" label with lot code 9CPO937, and a private foodservice label with lot code 96CPGO07. The produce was distributed in California, Massachusetts, Texas, Indiana, New York, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas and Arizona.
Ocean Mist Farms, a California farm and fresh produce shipper, is recalling 1,746 cases of iceless green onions because tests showed the presence of salmonella. The iceless green onions were supplied by wholesaler Circle Produce.
The recalled iceless green onion pack styles and code dates are as follows:
Trace Back Code: 95ONCP7G
Production Dates: 80309; 80709; 80809; 81109; 81209; 81309
The Texas Coffee Company, Inc. of Beaumont, TX, is recalling Texjoy red pepper in 3 oz. and 8 oz. packages distributed to retail stores in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. The product comes in a clear plastic package marked with lot # A29A07A2012, A28A07A2012 & A30A07A2012. The contamination was detected after testing of a supplier of red peppers to Texas Coffee Company.
Consumers can return the red pepper to the place of purchase for a refund, or call 1-800-259 3400 between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. CT.
Also Tuesday, the FDA announced the launching of its Reportable Food Registry, which will provide an electronic system for the food industry to communicate any potential food safety problems to the FDA. Under law, the food industry must now notify the FDA within 24 hours of identifying a potential health risk (to humans or animals) from the food they produce, pack or ship. The new system applies to roughly 85% of the U.S. food supply (the other 15% is regulated by the Department of Agriculture, not the FDA) and doesn't include infant formula or dietary supplements, which are governed by other regulations.
The food industry can avoid reporting health risks only if they are detected before food is shipped, and if the problem is corrected or the tainted food destroyed.
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