Monday, May 9, 2011
THE GRAPE TOMATO RECALL EXPANDS
As I predicted (See post on "A Recall of Grape Tomatoes"), the recall of grape tomatoes in the U.S. has expanded. Today information about two more recalls of grape tomatoes landed in my mail box. Yes, Six L Packing Company, the Florida-based distributor, has been selling them to other clients in addition to Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc. of Tracy, California, and Mastronardi Produce of Ontario, Canada. After all, it packs over 15 million tomatoes a year. That's big business.
Here are two more. Although they don't have the large geographic coverage of the previous ones, they show that in this kind of recall, new risky items can keep popping up, and you can't predict where.
* Del Monte Fresh Produce is recalling a limited number of Vegetable Trays and Veg. Trio sold in Roche Bros. Supermarkets in the state of Massachusetts under the brand ROCHE BROS. because they may also have used Salmonella-contaminated tomatoes.
* Northeast Produce Inc. of Plainville, CT has also bought and used some of these potentially contaminated grape tomatoes from Six L. It is now recalling a number of clam-shell packaged and loose tomatoes. Presumably, these were sold locally, but I'm checking further. You never know. And of course, we run up against the usual confusion of different brand names - "Cutie Brand," "Fancy Sweet," and "Cherry Berries." (I am wondering whether I might try a new career in branding...). If you want the specifics, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm254548.htm.
Here's my advice for what it's worth. In any case of an outbreak at the level of a large food producer or distributor, I immediately assume that it is going to expand. What I therefore do, is to stop eating that particular kind of food (e.g. grape tomatoes, cilantro, cucumbers, or whatever) for a week or two, to give the government testing laboratories time to catch up and the company to come clean about all its clients. You may want to do the same. There are plenty of other kinds of good tomatoes.
To your good health!