Andrew & Williamson recalls organic grape tomatoes - The Packer

Andrew & Williamson recalls organic grape tomatoes

09/29/2011 09:22:00 AM
Chris Koger

(For an update Sept. 30 on this organic grape tomato recall, see Andrew & Williamson expands grape tomato recall).

Courtesy Andrew & Williamson Fresh ProduceOnly organic grape tomatoes are subject to the recall issued by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego. No other tomato products from the company are involved.(UPDATED COVERAGE, 10:20 a.m.) Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce issued a recall for organic grape tomatoes from Mexico sold under Fresh & Easy and Limited Edition brands, because of a positive test for salmonella.

Andrew & Williamson, San Diego, issued the voluntary recall Sept. 28 after the U.S. Department of Agriculture received a positive salmonella result from a random sample from one clamshell taken in at a distributor Michigan.

No illnesses have been reported, according to the FDA recall notice.

Operations have been shut down at the farm in San Quintin, Mexico, where the organic grape tomatoes were grown, said Mark Munger, vice president of marketing for Andrew & Williamson. He said the recalled tomatoes were harvested Sept. 1-27.

“We’re at the tail end of the season at that location, so we will probably not start back up there because we have other farms heading into harvest in the Central Baja region,” Munger said.

Andrew & Williamson supplies Tesco’s U.S. Fresh & Easy stores with private label tomatoes, and the recalled organic grape tomatoes were distributed to Fresh & Easy stores. Munger said only the organic grape tomatoes are being recalled. Other tomatoes in Fresh & Easy stores are not involved.

The recalled product is sold in 10.5-ounce plastic clamshell containers with the UPC code 033383655925 on the front of the package, below the barcode. The containers also have the words “LIMITED EDITION” and “Product of Mexico” on the label.

The Fresh & Easy branded organic grape tomatoes subject to the recall are also sold in 7-ounce plastic clamshells and have the barcode 20025465.

A total of 23,000 cases, each with a dozen 10.5-ounce clamshells, are being recalled.

The recalled organic grape tomatoes were distributed to 18 U.S. states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and two Canadian Provinces; British Columbia and Ontario.

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John R Gargiulo    
Atlanta  |  September, 29, 2011 at 10:38 AM

When will US shippers and customers learn that you can not get safe food from Mexico because the culture does not lend itself to food safety. You can get all the certificates of food inspection you want but if the farming culture of the organization does not support total food safety then it will not work. Buyers and our government fail to understand that food safety is an integral part of an organization and starts at the top

Bob Allisat    
Toronto, Ontario  |  September, 29, 2011 at 11:42 AM

And the top still insists that organic produce is inefficient and will not be abvle to sustain our world full of people. When the truth is the opposite. That franken-produce and chemo agriculture - regardless of where they are grown - threaten us all to the core. The Organic movement. whether in Mexico, The United States, Canada or where-ever *is* the culture of total food safety and health.

Larry Jacobs    
California  |  September, 29, 2011 at 01:49 PM

While the A&W recall is troublesome, we're in the middle of the deadliest outbreak this decade from Listeria contaminated cantelopes grown in Colorado. Thirteen people have died and seventy two have been sick. The A&W recall resulted from a random FDA sampling at the border that found Salmonella. Nobody died. Nobody got sick. What is more troubling is nobody really knows the source

David Baum    
Santa Cruz  |  September, 30, 2011 at 01:23 PM

Andrew & Williamson should be applauded for there quick decisive actions in this matter! They are setting the example of large well organizations operating in Mexico. I also think Mr. Jacobs statements are well said.

Fernando de Saracho    
Nogales Az  |  September, 29, 2011 at 04:20 PM

Mr. Gargiulo where have you been hiding? The united states has been eating food imported from Mexico for more than 100 years, that is a little bit longer than you and I have been on this earth. I would like to extend an invitation to one of our facilities in Mexico and do a comparisson test with one of yours and let the results speak for themselves. Foodsafety, yield, technology and flavor wise. There is sufficient documentation that proofs that 95% of food ilness outbreaks have their origin in USA farms & facilities alike. Please step out and smell the roses once in a while.

Brunhilde Merker, CEO    
USA, FL  |  September, 30, 2011 at 11:38 AM

It’s always interesting to read the comments by every event; blaming each other for not doing the correct and required things. As ScoringAg is the only database with a case and item-level traceback code where a sport in the field can be found in minutes, the problem evaluated and eliminated, where all GAP’s BMP’s HACCP and EPA records can be kept, we know who is taking food safety and consumer protection by having traceback and traceup in seconds serious and who is just talking about it. ScoringAg is the only provider of Harvest Container Sanitizer required to use according to the Tomato laws and FDA/USDA GAP's to sanitize harvesting containers such as buckets, pails, totes, bins and RPC's. Looking at our customer list, I don’t see any reason for domestic growers to blame foreign growers!

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