On October 8, 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) became aware that The Nunes Company, Inc., of Salinas, California initiated a voluntary recall of green leaf lettuce distributed under the Foxy brand. The company reported to FDA that it initiated the recall because of E.coli contamination of water used to irrigate the lettuce plants in the field during growing. At this time, there has been no determination of whether the E. coli found is O157:H7—the highly infectious type that can cause life-threatening foodborne illness in humans—or the more common, generally harmless strains of E. coli that usually do not cause disease. Further, there has been no known human illness linked to this recall.
Based on current information about the scope of this E. coli contamination, FDA views the firm’s prompt action as commendable, because it is better to be cautious than to potentially put consumers at risk of contracting a serious foodborne illness. As FDA becomes aware of additional information about the contamination of the water supply that triggered the current voluntary recall, including the results of additional ongoing tests, the agency will make this information available to the public immediately.