(Updated November 11th with additional distribution information)
On November 3rd, EpicVeg, Inc. (Lompoc, CA) notified customers that it was recalling one lot of fresh cilantro (UPC 033383801049; Lot #6127R), after learning that the cilantro was contaminated with Salmonella. EpicVeg, according to the Company's web site, is "...a vertically integrated grower/shipper of California Vegetables located on the central coast of California."
The recalled lot of cilantro – as is typical in the US food processing industry – navigated through a variety of distribution channels. Some of the cilantro was distributed to Field Fresh Foods, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA). Field Fresh supplied the cilantro to Orval Kent Food Company and several other customers. Some of the recalled cilantro was supplied to APPA Fine Foods (Corona, CA), either directly from EpicVeg, through Field Fresh, or via some other as-yet-unnamed third party.
Emelio Castañeda, President of Field Fresh Foods, provided eFoodAlert with a copy of the letter sent out to Field Fresh customers. The letter contains the following information:
"The affected products have the potential of contamination with Salmonella from fresh cilantro that originated at EpicVeg Inc. The cilantro was distributed to us at Field Fresh Foods and we then supplied to Orval Kent Foods and several other customers that we have contacted directly. The cilantro was found in one lot from EpicVeg (Number 6127R) and the Food and Drug Administration notified affected parties on Nov. 3."
The California Department of Public Health reports that some of the recalled cilantro was distributed to retailers in California, and has posted a list of retail locations where the product was sold. Cilantro recalled by Fresh Field was supplied to Picnic People (Camino Ruiz, San Diego, CA) and to 13 El Pollo Loco restaurant outlets in El Segundo, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Torrance, Orange, Hawthorne, Anaheim, Long Beach, Costa Mesa, Rialto and Tustin.
FDA did not require EpicVeg to issue a pubic recall notice, as the Company supplied the affected cilantro to just four distributors (including Field Fresh Foods), and contacted all four directly. "Instead," I'm told by FDA spokesperson Siobhan DeLancey, "the companies further downstream are doing releases, because they have the products (and labeling) that consumers will be able to recognize."
Following is a list of the "further downstream" products that have been recalled. I have included retail distribution information, where available. This list will be updated as more recalls are announced.
- Bistro 28 Cranberry Mango Pico de Gallo.- UPC 7945388187; Use by 12/12/2010; Available in all Sam's Club stores in California, all Trader Joe's stores in California and several Costco stores in California.
- CA Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad.- UPC 7978185105; Use by 11/24/2010, 11/25/2010, 11/27/2010, 12/1/2010, 12/2/2010; Available in all Sam's Club stores in California, all Trader Joe's stores in California and several Costco stores in California.
- Chef Solutions Mexican 5 Layer Dip 12 oz.- UPC 77509663208; Use by 12/11/2010.
- Fish House Foods Ceviche 5 lb.- UPC 1345435529; Use by 10/30/2010, 12/7/2010;
- Fish House Foods Fajita Chicken Salad Kit 1 lb.- UPC 1345435800; Use by 1/20/2011, 2/4/2011
- Fish House Foods SW Fajita Bean Salad w Chk.- UPC 1345437117; Use by 11/21/2010
- Fry's Krab Ceviche Fry 12 oz.- UPC 1345435301; Use by 12/9/2010; Distributed to Fry's stores (a member of the Kroger Company group)
- Orval Kent Chipotle Chicken Pasta Kit.- UPC 1345435574; Use by 1/2/2011
- Orval Kent Cilantro Pecan Dip 8 oz.- UPC 7945330215; Use by 12/1/2010
- Orval Kent Southwest Fajita Bean Salad with Chicken, 5lb.- Sold in Kroger stores in Texas and Louisiana
- Spicy Thai Style Pasta Salad 12 oz.- Manufactured by APPA Fine Foods (Corona, CA); Sell by 10/31/2010 through 11/6/2010; SKU 74441; distributed to Trader Joe's retail stores in California (Fontana and Stockton), Arizona (one Tucson store) and Nevada (one store in Reno and one store in Carson City)
- Trader Joe's Cilantro Dressing 12 oz.- SKU 36420; Use by 2/9/2011; distributed to all Trader Joe's stores nationwide
- Trader Joe's Cilantro Pecan Dip 7 oz.- SKU 76986; Use by 11/20/2010, 11/24/2010; distributed to Trader Joe's stores in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
- Trader Joe's Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette 12 oz.- SKU 80947; Use by 1/9/2011; distributed to all Trader Joe's stores nationwide
Walmart has posted the Orval Kent recall notice, indicating that one or more of the products were sold at Sam's Club, but has not specified which of the recalled products are carried by Sam's Club.
Fish House Foods products were supplied to Fish House Vera Cruz locations in San Marcos, Carlsbad and Temecula, California.
What consumers should do:
- Avoid ready-to-eat products that contain cilantro as an ingredient, unless you are certain that the cilantro came from a source other than EpicVeg (such as a local grower).
- If you have consumed a product that contains cilantro – especially a salad or a dip – and you believe that you developed a Salmonella infection within a few days of having consumed the product, please contact your family doctor and your local or state department of health.
- If you have purchased one of the recalled products, either discard the item or return it to the store for a refund.
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