The kale is in plastic containers with packed-on dates of Sept. 15-20. It has been pulled from store shelves, but the sell-by dates are through Sept. 27, so the retailer issued a recall and is warning consumers to not eat any fresh-cut organic kale from the store in Seattle’s Roosevelt Square that was packed on the dates in question.
Libba Letton, a media relations specialist for Whole Foods, said the possible contamination was found during a routine sampling by the state’s agriculture department.
“The Washington State Department of Agriculture did random sampling on a variety of our products that day, and this (the fresh-cut organic kale) was the only positive,” Letton said Sept. 25.
Whole Foods is not conducting any of its own independent tests, Letton said. The store has a third-party auditor inspect operations every six weeks, she said.
After the random sample returned a positive result, state officials collected additional samples. Test results are pending on samples of kale before and after in-store packaging, as well as swabs of preparation surfaces, according to a statement from James Apa, public health spokesman for Seattle and King County.
Results from the pending tests could take days because of the processes required to isolate and identify listeria monocytogenes.