Noting the presence of unapproved pesticides, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and the California Department of Public Health have warned people not to eat cactus pads imported from Mexico.
The tainted produce, distributed in California, was packaged with the brand names “Mexpogroup Fresh Produce,” “Aramburo,” and “Los Tres Huastecos,” according to a news release.
Through routine monitoring of fresh produce, the cactus pads, or nopales, were found by California inspectors to have various pesticides, including dimethoate, omethoate, monocrotophos and methidathion, at levels that pose a health risk to humans, according to the release.
Both monocrotophos and methidathion have been banned for food use in the U.S. for several years, according to the release.
“Many Californians eat cactus as part of their diet, but the pesticide levels we have found at some specific locations are concerning,” Brian Leahy, DPR director, said in the release. “We are not aware of any illnesses that have been reported to date. But we suggest that anyone who bought this product from these locations recently, return it to the place of purchase or dispose of it in the garbage.”
The contaminated cactus pads were sold to consumers and wholesale customers between Jan. 23-29 at the following California locations, according to a news release:
- Rancho San Miguel Markets, Madera;
- La Monarca Market, Lower Lake;
- FreshPoint Central California, Turlock;
- Arteaga’s Food Center, Sacramento;
- Stater Bros. Distribution Center, San Bernardino; and
- S&L Wholesale Produce, San Francisco.
State officials have notified the Food and Drug Administration about the issue.