(Aug. 21) After a Canadian Food Inspection Agency warning of possible shigella contamination, Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd. voluntarily pulled baby peeled carrots from City of Industry, Calif.-based Los Angeles Salad Co.
“It wasn’t a recall per se,” said Ron Damiani, vice president of corporate affairs for the Ottawa -based chain. “We told everyone that what we sold between date X and date Y should be returned or discarded. … We were following a recommendation by the CFIA.”
The CFIA warned consumers that product sold in 1.5-pound plastic bags with sell-by dates through Aug. 13 could be contaminated, said CFIA spokesman Shashi Kulkarni. Four people in the Calgary, Alberta, area were infected with shigella, which causes similar symptoms to E. coli and salmonella.
“Luckily for Costco, they have contact information for each and every party that buys product for these people,” he said. “The product would have been taken off the market right away.”
Damiani said Costco was able to track customers that had already purchased it.
“Because we have a membership system, we actually were able to contact every customer and every member,” he said.
Damiani said the product was pulled from all of Costco’s 71 Canadian stores.
Los Angeles Salad Co. president Bob Hana said his company is investigating the incident. So far, he said, no evidence of contamination has been identified.
“There have been no definitive test results identifying that bacteria on that product,” he said. “This was a precautionary measure taken by the CFIA just to alert consumers.”