Three weeks ago, Parkers Farm of Coon Rapids, MN initiated a recall of some of its cheese and peanut products due to potential contamination with listeria monocytogenes. The recall was then expanded to cover all of the firm’s products on shelves in many grocery chains nationwide.
Now, Parkers Farm has reportedly been declared safe by state health officials. The firm is set to resume production.
According to startribune.com:
State officials say it remains unclear whether Parkers Farm will be fined for violating health regulations and allowing the listeria monocytogenes bacteria to contaminate the production plant.
Thankfully, no illnesses have been linked t the firm’s product. An interesting question raised in the Star Tribune’s coverage: will grocery stores go back to stocking Parkers Farm Products? If they do, I hope those grocery stores ask for and receive more information than the public has:
Parkers Farm officials have not returned repeated phone calls, and details about the privately owned company’s operations are sketchy.
At least one commentator thinks Parkers’ items will be back:
Whether the recall will affect the company’s future sales remains to be seen. Jean Kinsey, director of the Food Industry Center and an applied economics professor at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, said that because no one was injured and the recall was handled promptly, grocery stores and consumers are likely to be willing to accept Parkers Farm products again.
If they are back on shelves, I hope it is because regional and national retailers have done their homework, and independently evaluated the firm’s plant and procedures. Consumers today rely on the buying power of the big stores and chains. To justify that trust (and their customers spending) these stores cannot simply take a producers word that food safety procedures are being followed.