Cilantro is currently in the recall news. Companies are recalling their cilantro-containing ready-to-eat products such as chicken salads, fish salads, dips, and so on, because FDA testing has turned up Salmonella bacteria in the cilantro. So far, only two RTE food companies have issued recalls - Orval Kent and PPA Fine Foods, but quite likely, more will follow (as I warned in my first alert). Any time a commonly used food ingredient is involved, the number of recalls always grows, sometimes over a period of months.
Among retailers, Trader Joe's has been particularly hard hit, and is pulling many of its products - including one of my long-time favorites. (Even though I always argue that RTE foods are the most dangerous to eat, I have to confess that I do buy a few of my favorites such as Trader Joes Cilantro Walnut Dip.)
The cilantro behind this mess originated at Epic Veg Inc, a Lompoc, California company. You may note that in the right hand top corner of their produce box, there is a logo for Primus Labs, and a logo "When Safety Counts." I assume this is the laboratory that does the company's product testing for bacteria such as Salmonella - the one that turned up. I tried to find out where Epic Veg's products originate and who else was among its customers, but no luck. The company's website is remarkably uninformative. The source information is very carefully worded. It does not state where products are actually grown (California or across the border in Mexico?.
The only thing I did find out is that the two principals of the company apparently spend a lot of time on the golf course. Maybe they should spend more time supervising their operations, or they won't be able to afford the golf club fees anymore. Many small established and fledgling companies (I would guess this one is the latter) have gone belly up because of contaminated products. No company wants to continue buying their cilantro from a distributor sending them Salmonella as a bonus.