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Food Poison Journal Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

More from Mr. Orwig and Caudill Seed

I know you’re dying for more.  I posed a question to Caudill Seed yesterday about why they haven’t recalled their product.  Jim Prevor, the Perishable Pundit, had the same question apparently. 

Pundit:  FDA says Caudill made the decision to voluntarily withdraw from the market all the alfalfa seeds bearing six digit lot numbers that start with 032. Why a withdrawal and not a recall? What is the difference? Does a recall have a greater legal obligation, where Caudill would be agreeing to pay for companies to ship back and dispose of product, etc.?

Orwig:  The biggest difference between a recall and withdrawal is that a recall is a request from FDA because they have discovered an adulterated product. A market withdrawal is voluntary, as this one is because there is no proof, only suspicion. It is a significant difference. There is no proof; there are only problems and suspicion.

They have to have scientific proof to have a recall. There has to be an exact match. There are multiple strains of salmonella. In this instance, the only way you should have a recall is if it traces back the exact fingerprint of Salmonella Saintpaul. To justify a recall you have to have an exact match from the sick person to the seeds or product, otherwise it’s just suspicion.

My two cents:  Don’t hate me for this.  I swear, I never use those acronyms that everybody but high-school kids hate like LOL and OMG.  But OMG!  (For my parents, that stands for Oh My God!, as if i was astonished at something).  Give me a break Caudill and Orwig.  You should have recalled your product long ago.  There are 228 people sick (and that’s only the confirmed illnesses).  What if people continue to get sick, or even worse, die?  So you’re telling me that if this outbreak balloons to 500 illnesses and ten deaths that you’re still not going to recall your product unless the FDA comes up with a Salmonella positive from seeds at your building or in a bag marked O32?  Wow, that would be bold.  I wonder how long Mr. Orwig will toe this untenable line. 

Much more to come.