The Kroger Co. voluntarily recalled an unspecified amount of bagged spinach distributed in 15 states after it had expired because of possible listeria contamination.
A routine, random sample of one bag, collected at retail by the Ohio Department of Agriculture on Sept. 10 tested positive for listeria, said Ashley McDonald, public information officer.
It took eight days, however, for test results to become available.
McDonald said Ohio officials notified the Kroger Co. and the Food and Drug Administration on Sept 18, when they received the positive result. The spinach had a use-by date of Sept. 16.
Kroger’s contact listed on the recall notice did not return calls seeking additional information.
NewStar Fresh Foods LLC, Salinas, Calif., supplied the spinach, according to the recall notice posted Sept. 19 on the Food and Drug Administration website.
Tess Pollock, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Health, said no illnesses have been reported in relation to the spinach.
A spokeswoman for NewStar said the Kroger officials notified NewStar of the possible listeria contamination Sept. 18. She said the Salinas produce company immediately convened its food safety and rapid response groups to initiate recall protocols.
NewStar shipped about 900 cases of the spinach, grown in the Salinas Valley area, to Kroger.
The recalled spinach is in 10-ounce packages printed with the Kroger Fresh Selections brand. The packages have the Universal Price Code 0001111091649.
Kroger reported the spinach was distributed to stores in 15 states under several of the chain’s banners.
Those stores and states are:
- Kroger stores in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, central and eastern Tennessee and Michigan;
- Kroger, Jay C, Owen’s, Pay Less, Scott’s and Food 4 Less stores in Indiana, Illinois and eastern Missouri; and
- Dillons, Baker’s and Gerbes stores in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.