Recall -- Firm Press Release
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Fresh Express Announces Recall of Expired Romaine Lettuce Products with Use-By Dates of July 8 to 12 and "S" in the Product Code Due to Possible Health Risk
Ed Loyd, (513) 784-8935
Barbara Hines, (972) 724-3049
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --July 13, 2010 Salinas, California – Fresh Express is voluntarily recalling certain Romaine lettuce salad products with expired Use-by Dates of July 8 - 12 and an "S" in the Product Code because they may have the potential to be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. No other Fresh Express salads are included in the recall.
No illnesses have been reported in association with the recall. The precautionary recall action is being conducted to reach retailers as well as consumers. Consumers should check their refrigerators for Fresh Express Romaine salads with Use-by Dates of July 8 - 12 and an "S" in the Product Code (see separate listing). Retailers should check their inventories and store shelves to confirm that none of the product is mistakenly present or available for purchase by consumers. Fresh Express customer service representatives have already contacted a majority of retailers and are in the process of confirming that the recalled product is not in the stream of commerce.
E. coli O157:H7 is a bacterium that can cause serious foodborne illness in a person who eats a food item contaminated with it. Symptoms of infection may include severe and often bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting. Often, little or no fever is present. Most healthy adults recover within a week. Young children and the elderly are at higher risk for developing Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) as a result of the infection. HUS can lead to serious kidney damage and death. Consumers who may experience these symptoms should consult a doctor.
Only the Romaine lettuce salad products with use-by dates of July 8, July 9, July 10, July 11 and July 12, AND have an "S" in the product code are affected(see separate listing).
Retailers and Consumers who have any remaining expired product should not consume it, but rather discard it. Retailers and Consumers with questions may call the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center at (800) 242-5472, Monday – Friday, 5 a.m. – 8 p.m., Pacific Time.
The recall notification is being issued out of an abundance of caution due to an isolated instance in which one package of Fresh Express Hearts of Romaine salad yielded a positive result for E. coli O157:H7 in a random sample test collected and conducted by a third-party laboratory for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Fresh Express is coordinating closely with regulatory agencies. Immediately upon learning about the positive test result, Fresh Express conducted a traceability assessment and a full review of its food safety documentation, all of which were found to be in compliance with the company’s multi-step food safety program including field and manufacturing records which did not show any unusual occurrences or the presence of any pathogens
Snapshot of Recall Action
Fresh Express Romaine-based salad products with Use-by Dates of July 8 - 12 and an "S" in the Product Code are being recalled. Although no longer being sold, consumers may still have the expired product in their homes. This recall action serves to notify them not to consume the expired product, but to discard it instead.
A positive result for E. coli O157:H7 in a random sample test of a single Hearts of Romaine salad conducted by the FDA.
Instructions for Consumers:
Check refrigerators for expired Fresh Express Romaine salad with Use-by Dates of July 8 - 12 and an "S" in the Product Code. If found, do not consume and immediately discard it – as Fresh Express specifically recommends consumers should routinely do with any expired product. Consumers with questions may call the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center at (800) 242-5472, Monday – Friday, 5 a.m. – 8 p.m., Pacific Time.
Instructions for Retailers:
Check inventories and store shelves to confirm that none of the expired product is mistakenly present or available for purchase by consumers. Coordinate with Fresh Express customer service representatives who are already confirming that the recalled product is not in the stream of commerce.
Illnesses: No illnesses related to this recall have been reported.
Detailed listing of Recalled Product Codes:
Fresh Express Prevention-based Food Safety:
Fresh Express is firmly committed to food safety and has made food safety its number one priority. The company has invested heavily in building a comprehensive food safety program that is widely regarded for its excellence. Focused on prevention, the multi-step food safety program covers the entire supply chain, beginning in the fields before planting and continuing all the way through to growing, pre-harvesting, harvesting, manufacturing, shipping and delivery. Microbial testing is an important component of the program.