There is a report today that produce supplier Los Angeles Calco is recalling its own sprout products over fears of Salmonella contamination. There is no apparent connection between these sprouts and previously implicated sprout seeds from Caudill Seed Co. in Kentucky.
Calco spokesperson Yue Shen Hsiao claims that the implicated sprouts actually came from a farmer in Arizona. Hsiao says that Calco distributed the Arizona grown sprouts to help meet demand in California. Hsiao also says Calco will not outsource again. “I’m not putting my label on any products I don’t grow anymore,” Hsiao said. “I’m not taking that risk.”
At least Hsiao knew where the sprouts came from. Traceability of food product back up the distribution chain from the consumer has been a large food safety issue, especially as it relates to produce. Being able to trace back a food item to its source is helpful. Its even better to be able to rely on those sources. Confidence in food suppliers can be increased through review of HACCP plans, review of testing program results, and reliable, legitimate, third-party audits.
Food sellers who do not ensure that their suppliers are following safe food practices are at risk for ending up liable for others’ failures.