Lettuce Recall Expands As FDA Warns 19 States

A lettuce recall has been issued by the FDA that spans 19 states and Canada due to a listeria contamination. A California farm has notified 19 states and Canada. Originally, True Leaf Farms shipped the product to an Oregon food service distributor in which they shipped 90 cartons of product to Washington and Idaho.

However, the chief executive of Church Brothers, which sells and markets the farm’s produce, clarified Saturday that the recall involved nearly 2,500 cartons of lettuce. Only 90 cartons went to retail sales, said CEO Steve Church, and those were the ones mentioned in the initial announcement.

The states include Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Vermont. All the romaine affected by this recall has a “use by date” of 9/29/11.

The contamination problem affects about 33,000 pounds of chopped and bagged produce. An investigation led by federal officials found that a sample from one bag tested positive for listeria. No illnesses have been reported.

The Food and Drug Administration, which is investigating the contamination, has not yet identified the source of listeria, said FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Yao. The lettuce, Yao said, is not related to the listeria contaminated cantaloupe measure that was posted last week.

Recently there has been a listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupes from a Colorado farm. That outbreak has caused at least 72 illnesses, including up to 16 deaths, in 18 states.

A listeria infection will cause flu-like symptoms such as intestinal distress like diarrhea, cramping pain, headaches and fever in young children, the elderly, pregnant women and anyone already suffering from an immune-compromising illness and can show up months after being infected.