2012 Fresh Produce Food Safety News - The Packer

2012 Fresh Produce Food Safety News

12/28/2012 10:41:00 AM
Dan Galbraith

Fresh produce-related food safety news from 2012:

JANUARY

Green Valley Food Corp., Dallas, has expanded a recall tenfold, adding onion sprouts and spicy alfalfa sprouts to the plain alfalfa sprouts initially recalled because of possible salmonella contamination ... Growers Express’ decision to pull iceberg lettuce from the market after a nearby field tested positive for salmonella appears to be an unprecedented food safety step, but many peers agreed with the company’s “abundance of caution.” ... California cantaloupe growers appear poised to adapt mandatory food safety regulations in existing melon marketing orders ... Citrus greening, the disease causing significant crop losses in Florida, has been found in Texas ...

FEBRUARY

An E. coli outbreak linked to sprouts served at the Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches chain has sickened 12 people in five states ... Government and research groups have established the Sprouts Safety Alliance to tackle what the Food and Drug Administration calls the “unique safety risk” of sprouts ...

MARCH

Mexico’s food safety program is designed to be compatible with U.S. safety acts and other international standards ...

APRIL

Canadian PACA-like protection may be two years away ... Research has again proven the 1999 government-recommended process for sanitizing sprouts is inadequate ... Government officials say a listeria-related sprout recall by Henry’s Farm Inc. is hampered because the sprouts were sent to retailers and foodservice operations without lot codes or other traceable labeling ...

MAY

California growers back mandatory regulation for cantaloupe safety ... Salinas, Calif.-based River Ranch Fresh Foods LLC has expanded its voluntary recall of bagged salads to include some retail products with best-by dates up to May 29 ... Produce suppliers waiting for a total of more than $16 million from Birmingham, Ala.-based Adams Produce LLC should have a better idea of how likely they are to be paid after a May 31 hearing in the company’s $20 million bankruptcy case ...

JUNE

A false positive result for E. coli in random testing of salad at a Florida restaurant proved costly for Taylor Farms California Inc. after it issued and then cancelled a voluntary recall ... Holly, Colo.-based Jensen Farms filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization ... Armed with new research showing some consumers are shying away from consuming fresh produce because of pesticide residue concerns, the Alliance for Food and Farming called on the Environmental Working Group to cease publication of its Dirty Dozen list ...

JULY

Even with farm bill provisions, insurance for recall protection is still considered a longshot ...

AUGUST

A Government Accountability Office report urges the FDA to clarify recall protocol ... The FDA finds listeria at Burch Farms’ packing shed and cites “unsanitary conditions” ... Listeria on equipment spurs a recall of apple slices Missa Bay LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ready Pac Foods Inc., Sweedesboro, N.J. ... The recall of Chamberlain Farms cantaloupe linked to a salmonella outbreak hit other Indian growers hard when customers took a guilt-by-association approach to buying because the specific grower wasn’t named for six days ... Federal officials believe mangoes as a likely cause of a salmonella outbreak reaching 16 states; Daniella-branded mangoes are pulled from stores in the U.S. and Canada ... Chamberlain Farms cantaloupe tests positive for salmonella ...

SEPTEMBER

The Kroger Co. voluntarily recalled bagged spinach in 15 states after it had expired because of possible listeria contamination ...

OCTOBER

Chamberlain Farms officials deny any link to cantaloupe outbreak ... The FDA suggests the food industry should help fund food safety law ... The Center for Disease Control and Prevention calls the Chamberlain Farms cantaloupe outbreak finally over, with three people dead and sicknesses reported in 20 states ...

NOVEMBER

Barack Obama’s re-election spurs talk that food safety changes may be on the way sooner than later ... The Microbiological Data Program is in shutdown mode after 11 years of gathering facts about foodborne pathogens; budget cuts are blamed.



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