Freshway Lettuce recalled due to E.Coli


May 7, 2010

Freshway Lettuce recalled due to E.Coli

Freshway Foods of Sidney, Ohio, said it was recalling romaine lettuce sold under the Freshway and Imperial Sysco brands because of a possible link to the E. coli outbreak. The Recalled romaine lettuce is sold in 23 states and the District of Columbia because of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 19 people.

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that 12 people had been hospitalized and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was looking at 10 other cases probably linked to the outbreak.

The 12 people who have been hospitalized, three with the potentially life-threatening complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS. In HUS, the body’s blood-clotting mechanisms are altered, causing blocked circulation or bleeding in the brain or kidneys.

E. coli O145 symptoms: can cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea, which may be bloody. Though most healthy adults recover within a week, young children and the elderly are most at risk of developing HUS.

“E. coli O145 is one of the deadly E. coli’s, like E. coli O157:H7 that makes up the bulk of most outbreaks.  However, we do not really know the prevalence of E. coli O145, because government and industry seldom test for it.” According to Bill Marler of Marler Clark. The nation’s foremost law firm with a practice dedicated to representing victims of food poisoning.

Ohio-based Freshway Foods said in a news release that the recalled shredded romaine lettuce was sold to wholesalers, food service outlets, and some in-store salad bars and delis in: Alabama, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Consumers are urged not to eat “grab and go” salads sold from in-store salad bars and delis at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh stores.

Romaine lettuce and other types of lettuce and leafy greens from other producers are not affected by the recall.

“Multiple lines of evidence have implicated shredded romaine lettuce from one processing facility as a source of infections in a multi-state outbreak to which this recall may be related,” the FDA said.

FDA PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 6, 2010

Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

FDA Supports Freshway Foods Voluntary Recall of Lettuce

Freshway Foods1 of Sidney, Ohio, announced today a voluntary recall of certain romaine lettuce products because of the possible connection between the recalled romaine lettuce and an outbreak of foodborne disease. FDA supports this action by Freshway Foods. The outbreak, which is still under investigation, involves cases in Michigan, Ohio, and New York of illnesses due to infection with E. coli O145, a harmful bacteria.

On May 5, 2010, the New York state Public Health Laboratory, Wadsworth Center, in Albany reported finding E. coli O145 in an unopened bag of Freshway Foods shredded romaine lettuce being recalled.

A Freshway Foods press release says the recalled shredded romaine lettuce was sold to wholesalers, food service outlets, and some in-store salad bars and delis in the following areas: Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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. FDA and CDC encourage anyone with the symptoms listed to contact his or her health care provider immediately.
The recalled shredded romaine lettuce has a “best if used by” date of May 12 or earlier. The Freshway Foods press release advises restaurants, distributors, and retailers to throw out or refrain from using shredded romaine lettuce from Freshway Foods with these “use by” dates. Additionally, Freshway Foods is advising consumers not to eat “grab and go” salads sold in-store salad bars and delis at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh stores.

Shredded romaine lettuce from Freshway Foods with “use by” dates after May 12 are not involved in this voluntary recall. Romaine lettuce and other types of lettuce and leafy greens from other producers are also not affected by this recall.

Multiple lines of evidence have implicated shredded romaine lettuce from one processing facility as a source of infections in a multistate outbreak to which this recall may be related.

To date, 19 confirmed cases of E. coli O145 illnesses have been reported from Michigan, Ohio, and New York. These illnesses include 12 individuals who have been hospitalized, and three with a potentially life threatening complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS is a serious condition in which the body’s blood-clotting mechanisms are altered, causing blocked circulation or bleeding in the brain or kidneys.

The evidence includes preliminary results of product traceback investigations that indicate:

  • The shredded romaine lettuce consumed by ill persons in three states originated from one processing facility
  • preliminary results of a case-control study in one state that found a statistically significant association between E. coli O145 infection
  • and ingestion of lettuce from the same processing facility; and recovery of E. coli O145 from an unopened package of shredded romaine lettuce from the same processing facility that was obtained from a food service entity associated with the outbreak.

For more information on the outbreak of foodborne illness to which this recall may be related, please see http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/ 2. The FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state public health officials in Michigan, New York, and Ohio continue to investigate that outbreak and will provide updates as more information is available.

Publisher: Salient News


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