Even before Jensen Farms was asked and agreed to issue its voluntary recall, Frontera had already identified the companies to which we marketed the Jensen Farms cantaloupe, supplied that information to health authorities, and contacted those customers. While we had no way of knowing the individual stores or final point of sale of the cantaloupes, we took action on the information we did have.
On Wednesday, Sept. 14, Jensen Farms issued a recall. In addition to the public notification via Jensen Farms’ news release, Frontera again contacted customers in our database who had received Jensen Farms cantaloupe and asked that they destroy any product in their possession and also instruct their customers to do the same.
Throughout this situation, we acted as quickly as we could and in the best interest of public health, including tracking the cantaloupe to customers in our database and using multiple communications efforts to reach those customers. Still, many people have been impacted by this terrible situation, and we are deeply saddened by it.
Q3. How did traceability play into this particular recall?
Traceability was critical in assisting state health officials to quickly identify the potential contamination vehicle. Within hours of speaking with the Colorado Department of Health and the Environment, we were able to provide officials with the shipping destination of each pallet of cantaloupe marketed from Jensen Farms. This information, in turn, was helpful in the public health investigation.
Frontera Produce provided the infrastructure for the pallet-level traceability that was used in this situation. We provided computers and software so that both Jensen Farms and Frontera Produce could access the farm’s inventory and tracking records for the product that we marketed. This allowed the Jensen’s to assign tags to each pallet coming in from the field, scan those tags at shipping, and assign them to the customers and direct shipping destinations for tracking purposes.