UPDATED: Mexican mangoes wind down as investigation continues

09/07/2012 09:30:00 AM
Tom Karst

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency first issued a warning Aug. 24 advising the public not to consume Daniella-brand mangoes because of potential salmonella contamination.

That warning was accompanied by a voluntary recall by importer North American Produce Sales, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Garfield Balsom, an Ottawa-based official with the Canadian agency, said Sept. 5 that the recall in Canada was based on an epidemiological investigation, not direct evidence of the pathogen on the mangoes.

On Aug. 29, Splendid Products, Burlingame, Calif., recalled Daniella mangoes sold from July 12 to Aug. 29. In total, Splendid Products, various U.S. retailers and produce marketers issued more than a dozen recalls through Sept. 6.

Seattle attorney Bill Marler filed a lawsuit Sept. 5 against Splendid Products on behalf of an elderly woman in Stanwood, Wash., sickened by the salmonella strain.

Larry Nienkerk, general manager and partner at Splendid Products, said Sept. 6 the company had not been formally notified of the lawsuit and he had no comment.

Nienkerk said he has no knowledge of any physical evidence that Daniella-brand mangoes carried Salmonella Braenderup.

“We have conducted scores of tests on all lots of mangoes that we have in Nogales and in Texas, and we have various tests on other lots in customers’ warehouse, independent third party tests and the FDA has taken tests on these same lots and additional lots,” he said.

To his knowledge, Nienkerk said no test has shown a mango to have a salmonella pathogen on it.

“It is a real puzzle,” he said.

The Daniella mangoes were from a certified fly-free area in Sinaloa and did not undergo a hot water treatment for potential fruit fly infestation. Even so, Nienkerk said there is a wash process protocol for mangoes not treated with hot water that would have allayed food safety concerns.

“I hope the public understands that this is a wonderful product and that there are safeguards in place,” he said.

Nienkerk said Splendid Products recalled the mangoes at the first sign of problems, on a “suspicion we might have something to do with this,” he said. “We took a very drastic step quickly the moment we heard about any problem until we could get more information.”

The food safety record of Agricola Daniella, the Mexican supplier of the mangoes, was not immediately known.

Ryan Fothergill, in-house counsel for PrimusLabs, Santa Maria, Calif., said Primuslabs conducted an audit at Agricola Daniella’s facility in Mexico “relatively recently.” Fothergill did not describe the results of the audit of the Los Mochis, Mexico-based mango exporter — the results of a food safety audit cannot be released without written consent of the firm —   but he said the company is not a platinum client and did not have permission to use the logo on its cartons or fruit.



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Jon    
Florida  |  September, 07, 2012 at 12:45 PM

"Nienkerk said there is a wash process protocol for mangoes not treated with hot water that would have allayed food safety concerns." People in the produce industry, ESPECIALLY those who play a role in food safety, really need to realize that PREVENTION is the ONLY way to ensure safe produce. There is NO produce wash that can make contaminated produce safe to eat. There are numerous ways for bacteria on the outside of the produce to make it's way INTO the fruit, where no sanitizing wash can reach it. Any tiny crack, bruise, blemish, insect bite, or stem scar can allow bacteria to enter the fruit. The only legitimate use of "produce washes" is to ensure that the wash water does not pose a cross-contamination risk.

Ben    
USA  |  September, 10, 2012 at 03:49 PM

THE BACK STORY BEHIND THE DANIELLA MANGO RECALL ... http://mangoworldmagazine.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-back-story-behind-daniella-mango.html#!/2012/09/the-back-story-behind-daniella-mango.html ... The most recent rebuttal by Splendid Products; in USA Today , (which is conveniently headquartered in Washington D.C., close to the offices of the Beltway Law firm retained by Larry Nienkirk of Splendid Products) : First we were informed that the scope of the recall is roughly 100,00 (4kg) cartons out of roughly 2.5 to 3 million cartons shipped by Agricola Daniella. Now we are learning that The packing shed is located in Northern Sinaloa: "The fruit was grown by Agricola Daniela, a large grower near the town of Ahome, on the coast of the Sea of Cortez in the northwestern part of the Mexican state of Sinaloa, DelBuono said." Now Mr. DelBuono is trying to convince the general public that mangoes only have an 8 day shelf life once sold: "Mangoes typically have a shelf life of between five and eight days from the day they're sold, DelBuono said. "At this point, there are few mangoes even out there, between the recall and the fact that they would have been consumed or thrown out by the consumer." NICE TRY! The Keitt variety mangoes can last as long as 45 days from harvest in an extreme case. With Northern Sinaloa only hours away from the USA border, The statement by Mr. ... Read full story by clicking the link above as space in this comment section is limited.

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