You may have heard the news that a massive lettuce recall is underway, that has affected consumers in 23 states. Here is a look at new information that is being released today.
The Lettuce Recall
The lettuce manufacturer is called Freshway Foods, and they are recalling lettuce mixes that were due to expire before May 12, 2010. The infected lettuce is believed to be limited to their wholesale product line at this time, which means that the recalled lettuce was shipped primarily to restaurants and supermarkets (for salad bars).
While the lettuce recall does not affect prepackaged bagged salads, Freshway Foods has advised that “grab and go” salads sold in store salad bars and delis at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh stores not be consumed. How “grab and go” lettuce differs from pre-packaged lettuce is not explained.
Illness Caused by the Contaminated Lettuce:
The illness that is being caused by the lettuce is an E Coli bacterial infection. Web MD explained the bacteria, and subsequent symptoms of infection:
“Romaine lettuce sold in 23 states and the District of Columbia may be contaminated with dangerous E. coli O145 bacteria and has been recalled. So far, 19 cases of E. coli O145 illness have been reported in Michigan, Ohio, and New York. Twelve people have been hospitalized, including three with life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) caused by the bacterium.”
They go on to describe the illness linked to the lettuce recall. Here are the symptoms:
“Symptoms of infection with harmful E. coli may range from none to mild diarrhea to severe complications. The acute symptoms include severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea, which may be bloody. Patients may progress to serious complications, such as kidney damage. The FDA and the CDC encourage anyone with these symptoms to contact his or her health care provider immediately.”
Freshway Foods Company
Freshway Food Company is based in Sidney, Ohio. Here is their contact information:
Freshway Foods Plant and Corporate Office
601 N. Stolle Avenue
Sidney, OH 45365
For information they have released on the lettuce recall, click on About Us, and then News. While the lettuce recall was voluntary, it the E Coli was discovered as a result of the FDA testing the lettuce, not internal controls.
The Freshway Foods website states:
“The recall comes after FDA informed Freshway Foods the afternoon of Wednesday, May 5 that a previously unopened product sample in a New York state laboratory tested positive for the bacteria. Freshway Foods traced the entire lot of romaine products and is advising customers to cease use and distribution of it immediately. This recall may be linked to an outbreak investigation in New York, Michigan, and Ohio.
Freshway Foods has kept the FDA and other public health authorities fully apprised of its handling of this matter, and it continues to cooperate with them to identify the cause. An extensive FDA investigation of Freshway Foods’ facility in Sidney has not uncovered any contamination at the plant.”
If you are concerned about a family illness that may be the result of contaminated lettuce, consult your doctor. And maybe your lawyer.
Freshway Foods www.freshwayfoods.com
Web MD http://www.webmd.com