True Leaf Farms is expanding its voluntary recall of romaine to include 2,498 cartons of chopped or shredded romaine because of the potential of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.
The initial recalled product was shipped between September 12 and 13 to a retail food service distributor in Oregon who further distributed it to at least two additional states, Washington and Idaho.
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At the request of the US Food and Drug Administration the recall notification is expanded to cover additional product shipped to wholesale food service distributors in 19 states and Alberta, Canada. The states include Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Vermont. All the romaine affected by this recall has a "use by date" of 9/29/11.
No illnesses related to this finding have been reported.
Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
The only outlet where the romaine was available for direct consumer purchase was at Unified Grocers, Inc. Cash & Carry Smart Food Service stores in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. The product at those outlets was packed in True Leaf Farms cardboard cartons. All bags carry a "use by date" of 9/29/11. This product was labeled as follows:
- 2# bags, chopped romaine- Bag and box code B256-46438-8
Photos of the label on these bags can be viewed at www.churchbrothers.com/recall . FDA notified the company that a sample taken as part of a random check from a single bag of chopped romaine tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. True Leaf Farms is working with FDA to inform consumers of this recall. In addition, the company is working with its food service distribution customers to ensure that other romaine products that may be implicated are pulled from the market.
"We are fully cooperating with the FDA, and we are contacting all of our customers to ensure prompt removal of any product potentially associated with the recall," said Steve Church, True Leaf Farms. "We are committed to conducting this recall quickly and efficiently to reduce any risk to public health."
Anyone who has in their possession the recalled romaine as described above should not consume it, and should either destroy it or call Church Brothers, LLC for product pickup.
Consumers with questions or who need information may call Church Brothers, LLC, the sales agent for True Leaf Farms, at 1-800-799-9475, or may visit www.churchbrothers.com  for updates.