SALINAS, Calif.  (Food-News.net)  Fresh Express is voluntarily recalling certain Romaine lettuce salad products with expired Use-by Dates of July 8 – 12 and an “S” in the Product Code because they may have the potential to be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. No other Fresh Express salads are included in the recall.

No illnesses have been reported in association with the recall. The precautionary recall action is being conducted to reach retailers as well as consumers.  Consumers should check their refrigerators for Fresh Express Romaine salads with Use-by Dates of July 8 – 12 and an “S” in the Product Code (see separate listing).  Retailers should check their inventories and store shelves to confirm that none of the product is mistakenly present or available for purchase by consumers. Fresh Express customer service representatives have already contacted a majority of retailers and are in the process of confirming that the recalled product is not in the stream of commerce.  

E. coli O157:H7 is a bacterium that can cause serious foodborne illness in a person who eats a food item contaminated with it. Symptoms of infection may include severe and often bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting. Often, little or no fever is present. Most healthy adults recover within a week. Young children and the elderly are at higher risk for developing Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) as a result of the infection. HUS can lead to serious kidney damage and death. Consumers who may experience these symptoms should consult a doctor.  

Only the Romaine lettuce salad products with use-by dates of July 8, July 9, July 10, July 11 and July 12, AND have an “S” in the product code are affected(see separate listing).

Retailers and Consumers who have any remaining expired product should not consume it, but rather discard it.  Retailers and Consumers with questions may call the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center at (800) 242-5472, Monday – Friday, 5 a.m. – 8 p.m., Pacific Time.  

The recall notification is being issued out of an abundance of caution due to an isolated instance in which one package of Fresh Express Hearts of Romaine salad yielded a positive result for E. coli O157:H7 in a random sample test collected and conducted by a third-party laboratory for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  

Fresh Express is coordinating closely with regulatory agencies.   Immediately upon learning about the positive test result, Fresh Express conducted a traceability assessment and a full review of its food safety documentation, all of which were found to be in compliance with the company’s multi-step food safety program including field and manufacturing records which did not show any unusual occurrences or the presence of any pathogens.    

Snapshot of Recall Action

What:

Fresh Express Romaine-based salad products with Use-by Dates of July 8 – 12 and an “S” in the Product Code are being recalled.  Although no longer being sold, consumers may still have the expired product in their homes. This recall action serves to notify them not to consume the expired product, but to discard it instead.

Reason:

A positive result for E. coli O157:H7 in a random sample test of a single Hearts of Romaine salad conducted by the FDA.

Instructions for Consumers:

Check refrigerators for expired Fresh Express Romaine salad with Use-by Dates of July 8 – 12 and an “S” in the Product Code. If found, do not consume and immediately discard it – as Fresh Express specifically recommends consumers should routinely do with any expired product. Consumers with questions may call the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center at (800) 242-5472, Monday – Friday, 5 a.m. – 8 p.m., Pacific Time.  

Instructions for Retailers:

Check inventories and store shelves to confirm that none of the expired product is mistakenly present or available for purchase by consumers. Coordinate with Fresh Express customer service representatives who are already confirming that the recalled product is not in the stream of commerce.  

Illnesses:  No illnesses related to this recall have been reported.

Detailed listing of Recalled Product Codes:  
Complete Listing of Romaine-Based Products Included in the Fresh Express Precautionary Recall Announced July 14, 2010

(No other Fresh Express Salads are included in this recall)

 
Bag UPC Code Product Description Ounces Production Code Use By Date Range  
71279 10802 Double Carrots 12.0 S174, S175 July 8-9, 2010  
71279 10804 Green & Crisp 12.0 S174, S175 July 8-9, 2010  
71279 10808 Premium Romaine 9.0 S174, S175, S176 July 8-10, 2010  
71279 10809 Lettuce Trio 9.0 S175, S176 July 9-10, 2010  
71279 21100 Italian 10.0 S174, S175, S176 July 8-10, 2010  
71279 23201 Fancy Greens 7.0 S174, S175 July 8-9, 2010  
71279 24100 American 12.0 S175, S176 July 11-12, 2010  
71279 25101 5-Lettuce Mix 6.0 S175 July 9, 2010  
71279 26102 Hearts of Romaine 10.0 S174, S175, S176 July 8-10, 2010  
71279 26111 Triple Hearts 8.0 S175, S176 July 9-10, 2010  
71279 26112 Leafy Green Romaine 9.0 S175 July 9, 2010  
71279 26201 Hearts of Romaine 18.0 S174, S175 July 8-9, 2010  
71279 28100 Veggie Lovers 12.0 S174, S175 July 8-9, 2010  
71279 30100 Caesar Completes Kit 10.0 S175, S176 July 9-10, 2010  
71279 30101 CaesarLite Completes Kit 10.0 S175, S176 July 9-10, 2010  
71279 30104 Caesar Supreme Completes Kit 10.8 S175, S176 July 9-10, 2010  
71279 30105 BLT Caesar Completes Kit 10.5 S175 July 9, 2010  
71279 30201 Asian Supreme Completes Kit 13.8 S175, S176 July 9-10, 2010  
71279 30601 Salsa! Ensalada Supreme Completes Kit 14.0 S174, S175 July 8-9, 2010  
71279 40701 Gourmet Cafe Chicken Caesar 7.8 S175 July 9, 2010  
71279 40705 Gourmet Cafe Caribbean Chicken 8.6 S175 July 9, 2010  
71279 40706 Gourmet Cafe Tuscan Chicken 7.8 S175 July 9, 2010  
71279 26100 Romaine Chopped 32.0 S175 July 9, 2010  
Distribution Area  
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska,  
New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, Washington, Nevada  
           

Fresh Express Prevention-based Food Safety:

Fresh Express is firmly committed to food safety and has made food safety its number one priority.  The company has invested heavily in building a comprehensive food safety program that is widely regarded for its excellence.  Focused on prevention, the multi-step food safety program covers the entire supply chain, beginning in the fields before planting and continuing all the way through to growing, pre-harvesting, harvesting, manufacturing, shipping and delivery. Microbial testing is an important component of the program.



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