(UPDATED COVERAGE, 4:20 p.m.) United Supermarkets, Lubbock, Texas, is recalling all Mexican-grown mangoes and fresh-cut products containing them because of salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. that may be linked to the fruit.
United spokeswoman Kerri Fulks said the chain opted to recall all Mexican mangoes becuase their buyer was not sure what brand of organic mangoes were currently in stock at the chain's three banners: United Supermarkets, Market Street and Amigos.
"All the mangoes United Supermarkets recalled were Daniella brand except for the organics," Fulks said. "United’s buyer did not know the brand of the organic mangoes, but recalled them as a precautionary measure as well because they, too, were from Mexico."
Fulks said Topco, Skokie, Ill., supplied the mangoes through the United Supermarkets purchasing consortium. Officials at Topco did not immediately return calls.
A statement issued by United said the decision to remove all Mexican mangoes — and not just the Daniella brand named by distributors and retailers — is because of “possible salmonella contamination in other parts of the country.”
Other retailers and distributors posted recall notices or called consumers at home warning them about Daniella brand Mexican mangoes potentially contaminated with salmonella. Those retailers and distributors include: Roundy's Supermarkets Inc. banners of Copps, Pick 'n Save, Rainbow, Metro Market and Mariano's; Ciruli Bros.; Giant Food LLC; Top Food & Drug; Charlie's Produce and Costco.
California health officials said that although mangoes are definitely the source, information is inconclusive regarding the brand or country of origin.
The California Department of Health is continuing to investigate a 73-person outbreak. Two-thirds of the infected people in California have reported eating mangoes before becoming ill with the same strain of salmonella found in 22 sick people in Canada and six people in Washington.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency expanded its hazard notice about mangoes on Aug. 28 to include Daniella mangoes distributed by Mex Y Can Trading Inc. with Price Look-up codes of 4051 and 4959.
The Canadian agency announced Aug. 25 that Daniella mangoes from Mexico distributed by National American Produce Sales, Vancouver, B.C., with PLUs of 4959, which were recalled beginning Aug. 25. The mangoes in Canada were sold at retail from July 12 through Aug. 28.
Food and Drug Administration officials say they working on the “fast-moving outbreak” that includes as many as 101 sick people in the U.S., but California’s health investigators are still leading the investigation.
“Preliminary information indicates that mangoes are a likely source for the illnesses in the United States,” according to an FDA notice Aug. 29.
Lola Scott-Russell, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Aug. 29 the agency was working with state and federal officials across the country on the investigation. She said multiple states are involved, in addition to California and Washington, but declined to name the additional states until their health officials had given permission.
In the United Supermarkets recall notice, Tommy Wilkins, director of produce procurement, said there is “no evidence at this time that any products that have come through our stores were contaminated…” The chain anticipates having California mangoes in stock within days.
Costco's vice president for food safety Craig Wilson said the club store is not recalling the mangoes, rather, it is executing the recall initiated by one of its vendors, Splendid Products.
"They notified us Monday (Aug. 27) and we pulled all of the Daniella mangoes from our stores," wilson said Aug. 29. "We called about 213,000 consumers Tuesday to let them know (about the potential contamination)."
Wilson said Costco received about 43,000 cases of the Daniella red mangoes from Mexico, which went to individual stores in the Northwest, Northeast, San Diego and Los Angeles.
Distributor Splendid Products, Burlingame, Calif., initiated its recall of Daniella mangoes Aug. 26. General manager Larry Nienkerk said the company notified customers, asking them to pull all Daniella mangoes.
“We want to let everyone know our top priority is public safety,” Nienkerk said. “We have notified all of our customers ... and we are working with all the government agencies that are involved. We didn’t want to wait.”
Initially Splendid Products was recalling Daniella mangoes with PLUs of 4959. However, information from the company at www.splendidmangos.com includes additional PLUs of 3114, 4051 and 4311.
However Top Food & Drug, Bellingham, Wash., posted a notice on its website Aug. 27 stating Top and Charlie's Produce, a Seattle wholesaler, are also "pulling" mangoes withthe PLU of 4584.
Ciruli Bros., Rio Rico, Ariz., posted a notice on its website notifying its customers of the Splendid recall. The notice said Ciruli provided Sam’s Club stores keitt variety Daniella brand mangoes from Mexico it purchased from Splendid Products.
The mangoes from Ciruli Bros. were shipped in cartons labeled as Ciruli Bros. and Sam’s Club. They were distributed to Sam’s Club stores in California, Utah, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, New York and Illinois, according to the Ciruli Bros. website.
Giant Food LLC is also recalling Daniella mangoes from Mexico. According to an Aug. 27 news release, the Landover, Md.-based retail chain removed all Daniella mangoes distributed by Splendid Products.
The mangoes were available from July 12 to Aug. 24, according to Giant. The chain operates 173 stores in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.
Stop & Shop Supermarket Co., Quincy, Mass., is also recalling the same brand of mangoes from Mexico. The chain has more than 400 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey, according to its recall notice.
The United Supermarkets recall also includes the following fresh-cut products:
- 10-ounce Season Blend (UPC # 0-77815-00107-2),
- 16-ounce Season Blend (UPC # 0-77815-00106-5),
- 10-ounce Strawberry Kiwi Mango (UPC # 0-778915-0016-4),
- 16-ounce Strawberry Kiwi Mango (UPC # 0-77815-00115-7),
- 10-ounce Mango Spears (UPC # 0-77815-00117-1).
United Supermarkets has 51 stores and distribution centers in Lubbock and Roanoke, Texas.