Henry’s sprout recall complicated by lack of lot codes

04/30/2012 03:25:00 PM
Coral Beach

Courtesy Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer ServicesSoybean and natto soybean sprouts from Henry's Farm In., Woodford, Va., are under recall for possible listeria contamination. State officials said they are having difficulty tracking what retailers and foodservice operations received the sprouts because the packaging does not have lot codes or other traceable labeling.Government officials say a listeria-related sprout recall by Henry’s Farm Inc. is hampered because the sprouts were sent to retailers without lot codes or other traceable labeling.

As of mid-afternoon April 30, it was not known what quantities of the Spring Water Soybean Sprouts and Spring Water Natto Soybean Sprouts had been distributed. No illnesses had been reported.

The initial April 27 recall by the Woodford, Va., company involved sprouts sent to retailers in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Test samples taken by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Safety showed positive results for listeria monocytogenes.

Henry’s Farm expanded the recall April 30 to include the natto sprouts. Calls to the company did not go through because its voicemail system was full and not accepting messages.

Elaine Lidholm, director of communications for the Virginia agriculture department, said inspectors from the department and the Food and Drug Administration were at Henry’s Farm April 30 as part of a continuing investigation. She said an interpreter might have to be called in to communicate with Soo Park, the owner of Henry’s Farm.

The initial samples came from product displayed at retail on April 17.

“We cannot provide a figure on how many sprouts have been recalled,” Lidholm said. “This is gonna be a hard one since we don’t know how many were distributed initially due to no lot coding.

“Hopefully, as our investigation continues we’ll have a better idea of that,” she said. “But I don’t think that will be today (April 30). Who knows about tomorrow. … We’re going after this hot and heavy.”

Henry’s Farm ships to retailers and foodservice operators, but investigators didn’t have a full list of recipients as of April 30.

According to the state agricultural department, the soybean sprouts are in 1.5-pound clear plastic packages and 10-pound plastic bags; the natto soybean sprouts are in 1-pound packages.



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Kim Gregory Emond    
Long Beach California  |  May, 01, 2012 at 11:31 AM

If you are a food distributor Royal 4 Systems has complete lot tracking software that tracks the food from farm to fork. www.royal4.com

jbose    
Watsonville  |  May, 01, 2012 at 12:57 PM

What reputable retialer would buy anything without a lot code for traceback. Just shows once again price trumps food safety.

Brunhilde Merker    
Florida  |  May, 01, 2012 at 02:14 PM

The FSMA (Foodsafety Modernization Act) requires more then just a lot code, mostly created out of the blue sky. You will need documentation what is happen all the way from production to retail not only at the lot code. For the COOL law the records have to be stored at retail level. As far as I can see www.ScoringAg.com is the only company with complete system with all-up and all-down traceback not only one-up and one-down AND recordkeeping altogether for $1.60 per field and year. Tracking a code number is not required by FSMA and as we can see in all the recalls, the retailers take everything off the shelves as the lot codes do not mean anything.

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