Tanimura & Antle, Inc. recalled one lot of romaine lettuce for Salmonella contamination yesterday after a Wisconsin Department of Agriculture test came back positive for the bacterium. According to a press release on the Tanimura & Antle website:
Within hours of being notified yesterday, Tanimura & Antle, Inc. traced back the entire lot of romaine and advised all customers who received the recalled product of the test result. Tanimura & Antle, Inc. has instructed these customers to destroy the product. Although the recalled product is past its shelf life, the company is issuing this voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution to ensure that any product purchased by consumers will also be destroyed. Consumers who have purchased the recalled romaine as described above should not consume it, and should destroy the product.
The cartons of bulk or wrapped romaine being recalled are marked with the lot code 531380 and were harvested June 25 – July 2. This recall includes only this single lot of romaine; no other products are involved.
The recalled romaine was sold to retail, wholesale and food service outlets in Canada, Puerto Rico and the following 29 states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Texas, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, North Carolina,
Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Produce can become contaminated with Salmonella in a number of ways. Contaminated farm equipment can contaminate produce if it comes into direct contact with raw untreated manure, untreated compost, contaminated water, animals that shed Salmonella in their feces, or with people who somehow become contaminated. Fresh produce exposed to flood waters that carry Salmonella can become contaminated pre-harvest. Runoff water that could potentially carry Salmonella should be diverted from fields growing fresh produce and should not be used for irrigation.
Fresh produce fields in rural areas next to wetlands or wildlands are particularly susceptible to exposure by wild animals such as deer and wild boars that harbor Salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria. Domestic animals and livestock that make their way into fields can also contaminate fresh produce, as can field workers who are shedding Salmonella in their stool if they do not use proper hand-washing techniques, or if proper toilet facilities are not available to them in the fields where they work.