New Lettuce Recall

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I was originally going to post Part 2 of an interview with Dr. Sanford Miller, a senior fellow at the University of Maryland Center for Food, Nutrition and Agriculture Policy. A new lettuce recall will delay this post by a day. (Click here to read Part 1.)


The Nunes Co. of Salinas, California, has initiated a voluntary recall of green-leaf lettuce designated by the code 6SL0024, which was sold Oct. 3–6 under the Foxy brand. This lettuce may be contaminated with E. coli, the company states, although no illnesses have been reported.

The lettuce was distributed in Arizona, California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. It was sold to retail stores and distributors who may have sold it to restaurants.

The recall was initiated when company reps discovered that water used to irrigate the lettuce may have been contaminated with E. coli. Subsequent investigation indicated the problems were caused by temporary use of a secondary water source, initially testing positive for E. coli.

Consumers who have bought the lettuce are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Those with questions may contact the company at (800) 695-5012.

“This is a precautionary measure based upon the recent events in the produce industry and our concern for our customers,” company president Tom Nunes Jr. told the Los Angeles Times. “No other products except green-leaf lettuce are a part of this recall.”

Nunes supplies organic bagged vegetables under the Foxy brand—broccoli florets, broccoli slaw, broccoli/cauliflower vegetable medley, among others—to supermarkets, but they are not part of this recall.

The FDA issued the following statement yesterday: “Based on current information about the scope of this E. coli contamination, FDA views the firm’s prompt action as commendable, because it is better to be cautious than to potentially put consumers at risk of contracting a serious foodborne illness. As FDA becomes aware of additional information about the contamination of the water supply that triggered the current voluntary recall, including the results of additional ongoing tests, the agency will make this information available to the public immediately.

“Fresh leafy greens grown and consumed in the United States are safe,” the FDA adds. “Every year there are many thousands of pounds of fresh leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach grown in the United States and consumed by the public with no consequent illness. However, outbreaks do occur, such as the recent E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to raw spinach, and there is a need to do everything possible to minimize the likelihood of further outbreaks and prevent serious illness. For this reason, FDA has taken a number of actions in recent years, in partnership with its sister agencies, to improve the safety of fresh leafy greens and is working on additional steps. From farm to table, everyone has a responsibility to ensure food safety, including growers, processors, distributors, retailers and consumers, and government.”

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