Big spinach recall slow to reach public - The Packer

Big spinach recall slow to reach public

02/14/2012 04:17:00 PM
Mike Hornick

(UPDATED COVERAGE, Feb. 16) Tiro Tres Farms voluntarily recalled more than  114 tons of spinach — the bulk of it destined for the processed market — in December after a sample tested positive for E. coli O157:H7.

The fresh portion had been recalled by Avon Heights Mushrooms, Avondale, Pa., in a Dec. 23 notice. The company voluntarily pulled Krisp Pak 10-ounce bags, Better Brand 10-ounce bags and Avon Heights 4-2.5 pound bags with use-by dates of Dec. 16.

One package of Better Brand 10-ounce spinach tested positive for E. coli in random sampling.

No illnesses were reported.

The larger action by Eagle Pass, Texas-based Tiro Tres never appeared on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recall list.

“It appears as if Tiro Tres Farms did not issue a release because it would not have been beneficial to the public,” FDA spokesman Sebastian Cianci said. “This was bulk product supplied to processors, not directly to consumers.”

All product had passed its shelf life when the test results were received, Cianci said. Tiro Tres sent a recall notice on 228,360 pounds to its customers the same day (Dec. 23). None still had the spinach.

The product, cut-leaf curly spinach, was distributed in 30-pound totes in Colorado; Kentucky; Massachusetts; Pennsylvania; and Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

According to a Feb. 8 FDA enforcement report, the spinach was grown by Jimmy Crawford Farms in Uvalde, Texas, and harvested in late November.

The only label was a sticker identifying container numbers linked to the harvest date and field. The numbers were 11-21 2011; 11-22 2011; 11-23 2011; 11-25 2011; 11-28 2011; and 11-29 2011. The stickers also displayed the phrase “Tiro Tres Farms Roberts S1.”

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Rich Collins    
Ca  |  February, 15, 2012 at 11:36 AM

They notify customers more than a MONTH after the product has been harvested? If the spinach was destined for fresh markets wouldn't it have been LONG gone by then? Isn't this all just a little bit CRAZY??

tx  |  February, 15, 2012 at 04:41 PM

It's Texas...Not Crazy!

Michigan  |  February, 16, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Exactly why we should be fighting to keep the USDA Microbiological Data Program. The industry will not be quick to inform the public knowing that they will take an economic hit.

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