Rio Queen Citrus, Inc. of Mission, TX is recalling 840 cartons of 12/1 Dry Pints of Mexican cherry tomatoes in “Karol” brand boxes, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.
The “Karol” cherry tomatoes were distributed through retail stores in the states of Texas & South Carolina.
The product was originally distributed in a bulk container of 12/1 Dry Pints in boxes labeled “Karol” with the Lot No. “01W45” stamped in the upper, right-hand corner on the face of the box. The box states “Distributed by Interstate Fruit & Vegetable”, which is an affiliated business of Rio Queen Citrus, Inc. These packages were distributed at the retail level between November 10th & November 19th, 2012. At the retail level, the tomatoes may have been packaged in an alternative container depending on the area and retailer.
No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.
The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing by FDA revealed the presence of Salmonella in a sample taken from the product, identified by Lot No. “01W45.”
Further distribution of the product has been suspended while FDA and the company continue their investigation as to the source of the problem.