Saturday, May 25, 2013
Did Lettuce Recall Come Too Late For Consumers?
The California-grown lettuce that’s been recalled due to concerns of listeria contamination applied to product that expired today.
A California lettuce grower has recalled nearly 33,000 pounds of its chopped romaine lettuce after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found bacteria in one of its bags.
Listeria is “found in the environment, found in the water, occasionally it can get into the food supply such as vegetables,” said Dr. Michael Cooper from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
True Leaf Farms said the lettuce was shipped to 19 states, including Alaska, but is claiming it isn’t sure how many bags were shipped to the state between Sept. 12 and 13; the bags expired Sept. 29.
The company is also not disclosing to which businesses the product was distributed; several chain stores in Anchorage said they do not carry the brand.
According to state health officials, there have been no recent reports of illnesses related to listeria in Alaska.
“None associated with the lettuce, as far as officials are aware. That could change if people come forward and they find illnesses associated with it later,” said Kim Stryker, a program manager with the Alaska Food Safety and Sanitation Program.
Symptoms of a listeria infection are similar to the flu and may cause headache, nausea, and muscle ache, but symptoms may not appear right away.
“One of the problems with the exposure to listeria is that symptoms can start as early as three days after ingestion but up to 70 days or even two months, said Dr. Cooper.
However, state health officials say healthy persons may experience few or no symptoms at all.