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More Recalls Trickle In

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, September 26, 2006

The FDA announced that two additional companies initiated voluntary recalls:

On September 22, 2006,Triple B Corporation, doing business as S.T. Produce, of Seattle, Washington, initiated a voluntary recall of its fresh spinach salad products with a “Use By” date of 8/22/2006 thru 9/20/2006. Spinach used in these products may have been supplied from Natural Selection Foods of California. The recalled products were distributed in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana to retail stores and delis and sold in a hard plastic clamshell container.

The products recalled by S.T. Produce are: NWG Spinach Salad (5 oz.),Spinach Salad, QFC (5 oz.), Charlie’s Spinach Salad (5 oz.), Charlie’s Tabouli & Goat Cheese Salad (10 oz.), NWG Tabouli & Goat Cheese Salad (10 oz.),Tabouli & Goat Cheese Salad, QFC (10 oz.), T/H Spring Mix Salad (5.5 oz.), T/H Mozzarella Spring Mix Salad (5.5 oz.), T/H Baby Spinach Salad (5.5 oz.), Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad w/ Grilled Chicken Breast (6.5 oz.), Larry’s Market Tabouli & Goat Cheese Salad (10 oz.), Charlie’s Seasonal Greens Salad (2.5 oz.), Charlie’s Seasonal Greens Salad (4 oz.), Charlie’s Baby Spinach Salad (6 oz.), Charlie’s Baby Spinach Salad (5 oz.) and Caesar Bowtie Noodle Salad Kit with Grilled Chicken Breast (6.9 lbs).

On September 22, 2006, Pacific Coast Fruit Company of Portland, Oregon, initiated a voluntary recall of products that may include spinach supplied by Natural Selection Foods. Pacific Coast Fruit Company stopped making all products with spinach supplied from California on September 14, 2006. The recalled products are:

Baby Spring Mix Salad Kit (4.6 lbs), Chef on the Run- Bacon Spinach Salad (9 oz. plus 2 fl. oz. dressing), Chef on the Run-Spring Greens Salad (5 oz. plus 2 fl. oz. dressing), Chef on the Run-Willamette Valley Salad (10oz. plus 2 fl. Oz. dressing),Trader Joe’s-Baby Spinach and Greens with Bleu Cheese, Candied Pecans and Cranberries with Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing (10 oz.), Trader Joe’s-Baby Greens and Spinach Salad with Wild Maine Blueberry Dressing (10 oz.), Mediterranean Veggie Blend Kit- 15 lbs, and My Brothers Pizza Spinach and Garlic- 15 oz. and 36 oz.

Most of the salad products supplied by Pacific Coast Fruit Company can be identified by the labels Trader Joe’s, My Brothers Pizza or Chef on the Run and are in clam shell containers. Pizza products are in round cardboard bottoms with a plastic over wrap. All salad products will have a “USE BY DATE” on or before September 20, 2006. Pizza products will have a “USE BY DATE” on or before September 23, 2006.The products were distributed through various retail outlets in Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. There is no international distribution.

This gets added on to the previously announced three voluntary recalls:

On September 19, 2006, RLB Food Distributors, L.P., West Caldwell, NJ, initiated a voluntary recall of certain salad products that may contain spinach with an ‘Enjoy Thru’ date of 9/20/06. See: http://www.fda.gov/oc/po/firmrecalls/rlb09_06.html. The products recalled by RLB are: Balducci’s Mesclun Mix 5 oz., Balducci’s Organic Baby Spinach 5 oz., Balducci’s Mixed Greens 5 oz., FreshPro Mesclun Mix 5 oz., FreshPro Organic Baby Spinach 5 oz., FreshPro Mixed Greens 5 oz., FreshPro Salad Mix with Italian Dressing 4.75 oz., and FreshPro Salad Mix with Ranch Dressing 5.25 oz.

On September 17, 2006, River Ranch, of Salinas, California, announced a voluntary recall of packages of spring mix containing spinach. River Ranch obtained bulk spring mix containing spinach from Natural Selection. The following brands are involved: Fresh N’ Easy Spring Mix and Hy-Vee Spring mix containing baby spinach, distributed to retailers in Texas, Iowa, New Mexico, Georgia and Ohio. Product was packed in 5 oz. bags and 5 oz. plastic trays. Products that do not contain spinach are not part of this recall.

On September 15, 2006, Natural Selection Foods, LLC, of San Juan Bautista, California, announced a voluntary recall of all products containing spinach in all brands they pack with “Best if Used by Dates” of August 17, 2006 through October 1, 2006. These products include spinach and any salad with spinach in a blend, both retail and food service products. Products that do not contain spinach are not part of this recall.

Natural Selection Foods, LLC brands include: Natural Selection Foods, Pride of San Juan, Earthbound Farm, Bellissima, Dole, Rave Spinach, Emeril, Sysco, O Organic, Fresh Point, River Ranch, Superior, Nature’s Basket, Pro-Mark, Compliments, Trader Joe’s, Ready Pac, Jansal Valley, Cheney Brothers, D’Arrigo Brothers, Green Harvest, Mann, Mills Family Farm, Premium Fresh, Snoboy, The Farmer’s Market, Tanimura & Antle, President’s Choice, Cross Valley, and Riverside Farms.

The affected products were also distributed to Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Iceland. No illnesses have been reported from these countries. FDA continues to investigate whether other companies and brands are involved.

All the recalls announced to date are either of products packed by Natural Selection Foods or from people who bought bulk product from Natural Selection Foods.

But the slow pace that these recalls are dribbling in indicates major problems with the trade’s traceability systems.

There are only two possibilities for why these recalls should come in so late: Either the records are such that a lot of companies have no idea who they bought from and when and in which products it went, or people are just waiting for the FDA to show up on their door with a bag that someone claimed they ate from before they got sick.

Something is wrong either way.

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