Wegmans recall linked to N.Y. illnesses - The Packer

Wegmans recall linked to N.Y. illnesses

11/01/2012 07:58:00 PM
Mike Hornick

Wegmans(UPDATED COVERAGE, Nov. 8) Wegmans Food Markets Inc. voluntarily recalled organic spinach and spring mix sourced by Chelsea, Mass.-based State Garden Inc. that’s been linked to 19 illnesses in New York from E. coli O157:H7 contamination.

The outbreak hit five western New York counties: Monroe, Erie, Niagara, Steuben and Wayne. Five of the 19 were hospitalized. By Nov. 8 all but one was released, said Jeffrey Hammond, spokesman for the New York State Department of Health.

Wegmans announced the recall Nov. 1. A traceback to the grower was still ongoing Nov. 8, said Pat El-Hinnawy, spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration.

“Illnesses are being investigated, but no illnesses have been confirmed as related to State Garden products,” State Garden spokesman Jeff Jubelirer said in a news release.

The product, a blend of the two organic leafy greens, was sold Oct. 14 to Nov. 1 in 11-ounce and 5-ounce clamshells at Wegmans stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts. It’s labeled Wegmans Food You Feel Good About Organic Spinach and Spring Mix.

Universal Product Codes are 77890-16411 for the 11-ounce and 77890-16437 for the 5-ounce. Wegmans recalled about 31,000 pounds of product.

According to State Garden, the item under investigation is the 11-ounce blend with use-by dates of Oct. 23 and Oct. 24 and traceback codes of 60832 and 14765. Those were distributed to Wegmans stores in New York.

As a precaution, Wegmans removed all code dates from all stores and called customers who purchased the items using their Shopper Club cards.

Wegmans and State Garden said they worked closely with New York State’s Department of Health and Department of Agriculture and Markets after learning the illnesses may be associated with the product.

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Ben Mark    
USA  |  November, 02, 2012 at 04:20 PM

Isn't the farmer and repacker supposed to test for foodborne pathogens? http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/GuidanceDocuments/FoodSafety/ucm295271.htm

Florida  |  November, 05, 2012 at 08:06 AM

Ben, your link is to voluntary guidelines for companies that choose to test for Salmonella. IF they do test for salmonella, FDA is giving recommendations on the proper way to do so and how to react to the test results. It does not require companies to test for salmonella, and it is completely irrelevant to this article that is talking about E.coli contamination.

Julio L PhD    
Salinas  |  November, 02, 2012 at 07:56 PM

this incomplete reporting is unacceptable! who is the grower/broker/supplier?

Chris Koger    
Lenexa, Kan.  |  November, 03, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Julio, As with any outbreak, we will report on the grower/supplier's name when we have that information. However, The Packer doesn't have a list of all the customers that grower-shippers supply. Like all media, The Packer's able to provide this information when the FDA, health officials or other agencies make it public. To date, no media has reported this information. Chris Koger News Editor

Concerned farmer    
Florida  |  November, 09, 2012 at 03:49 PM

No reporting of Origen this time of year begs a political issue.

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