Tanimura and Antle lettuce recall expanded

July 23, 2009 6:15:39 PM PDT
A local produce company is expanding it's recall of lettuce grown in the Salinas Valley. The problem is salmonella and the recall is now nationwide.

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There are no reported illnesses from the salmonella report. The lettuce was shipped to 29 states, including California, Canada and Puerto Rico. Just hours ago, the company expanded the recall to include all 50 states as a precautionary measure just in case that lettuce was transported to geographical areas without the company's notice.

Tanimura and Antle has confirmed the suspect lettuce was grown in a salinas field. They say it was a contracted farm and not a company farm. There are 22,000 cartons involved.

The voluntary recall came after a random test by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture tested positive for salmonella.

Bob Perkins is Executive Director of the Monterey County Farm Bureau.

"The good news is that since it is an individual find, it appears to have been limited and also we've had no reports of illness from it," said Perkins.

The AG industry took numerous food safety precautions after spinach from the Salinas Valley was continminated with e-coli in 2006. The outbreak killed three people and sickened at least 200 others. Salmonella can also result in serious illness and in rare cases even death.

Kevin Piearcy had no problem eating a ceasar salad with romaine lettuce for lunch. He's confident the industry does it's best to protect consumers.

"The food in the United States is proabalby the safest, I might have to worry about food coming from somewhere else and a recall but not here," said Piearcy.

Within hours of the positive test, Tamimura and Antle was able to trace back the entire lot of romaine lettuce and alert all of its customers. The product was harvested June 25 through July 2 and is most likely no longer on the shelf.

Industry experts say despite best practices, it's impossible to eliminate every risk of contamination.

"The only way you could be certain is to grow food in a laboratory environment and a completely sterile situation. That's unrealistic to be able to provide food," said Perkins.

Tanimura & Antle at (877) 827-7388
Tanimura & Antle recall information

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