UPDATED: Salmonella test prompts Georgia company to recall anaheim peppers - The Packer

UPDATED: Salmonella test prompts Georgia company to recall anaheim peppers

07/13/2009 02:16:47 PM
Ashley Bentley

(UPDATED COVERAGE, July 14) A Food and Drug Administration investigation into a positive salmonella test on anaheim peppers at a retailer’s distribution center hasn’t identified the source of the contamination.

A Georgia produce company recalled one lot of its anaheim peppers after a positive testing from New York’s department of agriculture found peppers contaminated with salmonella.

Herring Produce, Lake Park, Ga., voluntarily recalled peppers with the lot number 0801206 July 8, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The company shipped the peppers June 9-19 to distributors and brokers in New York, Ohio and Massachusetts. Contaminated peppers were found at a Wegmans Food Markets Inc. warehouse.

Danny Herring, co-owner, said the company notified distributors and brokers who purchased the peppers by July 2, when the positive test came up. The company did not issue an official news release until July 8 because of an ongoing FDA investigation, and because of the agency’s recommendation.

“FDA didn’t suggest we make a news release until last week,” Herring said July 14. “We were really surprised. We follow all GAP (good agricultural practices) guidelines. There were other places in the supply chain that this could have happened.”

Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets Inc. took the peppers off its shelves July 2, after the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets’ positive test.

Wegmans posted a recall on its Web site, www.wegmans.com, that includes all peppers sold since June 11.

Eben Kennedy, produce category merchant for Wegmans, said the traceback has not shown where the peppers were contaminated, and they have not been linked to any illnesses.

“They investigated us, but determined that … what they found on ours couldn’t be linked to any disease outbreak,” Herring said.

Herring said its anaheim pepper season was finished once the positive test came out, so it is no longer shipping the peppers.



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