Year-End Flurry of Food Recalls, Illness

Daniel J. DeNoon

Disclosures

December 28, 2010

December 28, 2010 — A nationwide recall of curly parsley and cilantro is the latest in a year-end flurry of food warnings and outbreaks of food-borne illness.

In the two most serious of these outbreaks:

  • At least 89 people in 15 states fell ill with salmonella infections after eating contaminated Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts from Tiny Greens Organic Farm of Urbana, Ill. Many of those who fell ill reported eating sandwiches at Jimmy John's restaurants.

  • 100 people became ill after eating pastries made by Rolf's Patisserie, a gourmet European bakery in Lincolnwood, Ill. Various desserts were shipped wholesale and repackaged by other retailers. Whole Foods has recalled gingerbread houses and a wide range of pastries, pot pies, and quiche originally made by Rolf's.

Parsley/Cilantro Recall — Salmonella

In the latest recall, J&D Produce of Edinburg, Texas, has recalled its Little Bear brand curly parsley and cilantro. Tests of the products in Quebec, Canada and in Detroit detected salmonella contamination.

The items were packed from Nov. 30 to Dec. 6. According to the Associated Press, the company is also recalling other produce that came through its production lines on these dates: arugula, leeks, collards, curly mustard, gold beets, kale, green Swiss chard, plain mustard, plain parsley, kohlrabi, rainbow Swiss chard, mint, methi leaf, beets, daikon, red Swiss chard, turnips, turnip greens, and dill.

No known illnesses have yet been associated with this recall. J&D promises a full refund of any affected product.

Alfalfa Sprouts — Salmonella

On Dec. 27, the FDA warned consumers not to eat Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts (a mix of alfalfa, radish, and clover sprouts) from Tiny Greens Organic Farm.

The preliminary results of a CDC/FDA investigation link many of the illnesses to sandwiches from Jimmy John's restaurant outlets. About half of the 89 cases reported as of Dec. 21 were in Illinois residents who ate at Jimmy John's. The restaurant has stopped putting sprouts on its sandwiches.

The sprouts were also distributed in 4-ounce and 5-pound containers to farmers markets, restaurants, and groceries in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and possibly other states in the Midwest.

Illnesses from salmonella with the same DNA fingerprint as the outbreak strain have been identified in Connecticut, Washington D.C., Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Pastries — Staph Toxin

On Christmas Eve, the Lincolnwood, Ill., bakery Rolf's Patisserie recalled products made after Nov. 1, 2010.

The products include tiramisu, cakes, cobblers, decorated cookies, tarts, pastries, and pies (including pot pies). Because these foods are sold wholesale, they may be repackaged by retailers under various labels.

The foods contain toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus. Poisoning occurs from ingesting these toxins, not from Staph infection. Illness onset is usually within one to six hours after eating the contaminated food. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Severe cases are rare but may include headache, muscle cramps, and changes in blood pressure and pulse rate.

Whole Foods has removed the foods from its shelves. Included in the Rolf's recall are pre-assembled gingerbread houses sold in Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

Also included in the recall are the following products sold by Whole Foods in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin:

Items sold in Bakery:

UPC Code Product Desc Item Size Unit of Measure
23691600000 WFM 6 IN CHERRY CRUMB PIE 12 OUNCES
23600700000 WFM 6 INCH APPLE PIE 20 OUNCES
23692300000 WFM 6IN APPLECRAN CRMB PIE 19 OUNCES
23693100000 WFM 9 IN HOUSE KEY LIME PIE 34 OUNCES
23654800000 WFM 9 INCH CHOC SILK PIE 48 OUNCES
23691800000 WFM 9IN APPCHDR CRUMB/DBL PIE 34 OUNCES
23692200000 WFM 9IN APPLCRAN CRUMB/DBL PIE 37 OUNCES
23659200000 WFM 9IN BANANA DULCE D LCH PIE 52 OUNCES
23650700000 WFM 9IN BLACKBERRY CHRRY PIE 60 OUNCES
23659800000 WFM 9IN BOSTON CREME PIE 40 OUNCES
23691500000 WFM 9IN CHERRY CRUMB/DBL PIE 40 OUNCES
23659600000 WFM 9IN COOKIES AND CREAM PIE 42 OUNCES
23650000000 WFM 9IN CRML APPLE CHSCAKE PIE 44 OUNCES
23690900000 WFM 9IN PEACH CRUMB/DBL PIE 37 OUNCES
23650500000 WFM 9IN RASP PCH CRUMB/DBL PIE 60 OUNCES
23611000000 WFM CAKE CHOC MOUSSE 8IN 58OZ 58 OUNCES
23182200000 WFM CHOC FLOURLESS CAKE 6IN 24 OUNCES
23610800000 WFM CHOC FLOURLESS CAKE 8IN 32 OUNCES
23629500000 WFM LEMON MERINGUE PIE 9 INCH 1133 GRAMS
23184200000 WFM MINI CARAMEL TART 1OZ 1 OUNCES
23615900000 WFM MINI CHOC FRESH FRUIT TART 1 OUNCES
23173400000 WFM MINI CHOC GANACHE TART 1OZ 1 OUNCES
23129700000 WFM MINI CHOC RASPBERRY TART 1 OUNCES
23648700000 WFM MINI CHOCOLATE MOUSSE TART 1 OUNCES
23152700000 WFM MINI FRESH FRUIT TART 1OZ 1 OUNCES
23658200000 WFM MINI GERMAN CHOC TART 1 OUNCES
23121200000 WFM MINI KEY LIME TART 1 OUNCES
23618600000 WFM MINI LEMON MERINGUE TART 1 OUNCES
23185400000 WFM MINI LEMON TART 1OZ 1 OUNCES
23619600000 WFM MINI MERINGUE TART 1 OUNCES
23651200000 WFM MINI ROCKY ROAD TART 1 OUNCES
23167600000 WFM STRAWBERRY & CREAM PIE 9IN 24 OUNCES
23621700000 WFM APPLE PIE 9 INCH 1/2 22 OUNCES
23621800000 WFM 9IN CHOCOLATE SILK PIE 1/2 24 OUNCES
23614300000 WFM TIRAMISU CAKE 6IN 22OZ 16 OUNCES
23167100000 WFM PUMPKIN ANGEL FOOD CAKE 16 OUNCES
23187900000 WFM LEMON CREAM PIE 9 IN 40 OUNCES
23605700000 WFM MINI COCONUT TART 1 OUNCES
23612900000 WFM TIRAMISU CUP 6OZ 6 OUNCES
23625000000 WFM CRANBERRY WLNT UPSIDE CAKE 19 OUNCES
23642700000 WFM TRES LECHES CUP 6 OUNCES
23660100000 WFM 9IN CRML APPLE WALNT PIE 44 OUNCES
23669000000 WFM CREME BRULEE 5 OUNCES
23671700000 WFM 9 INCH IN HOUSE PUMPKIN PIE 32 OUNCES
23695700000 WFM YULE LOG 27 OUNCES

Items sold in Prepared Foods:

UPC Code Product Desc Unit of Measure
23773800000 CHICKEN POT PIE 9INCH SPECIAL 26 OUNCES
23851300000 BEEF & MUSHROOM POT PIE 9IN 26 OUNCES
23853500000 CURRY CHICKEN POT PIE LARGE 26 OUNCES
23856300000 FAMILY SIZE TURKEY POT PIE 16 OUNCES
23923600000 TOFU POT PIE 9 IN 26 OUNCES
23928400000 CHICKEN POT PIE 9IN 26 OUNCES
23928500000 VEGETABLE POT PIE 9 IN 26 OUNCES
9948280244 CHICKEN POT PIE LARGE 26 OUNCES
9948280320 TURKEY POT PIE LARGE 26 OUNCES
23785900000 CORN PEPPPER QUICHE WHOLE 12 OUNCES
23788900000 SMSALMONLEEKGOATQUICHESLICE BY POUND
23789300000 SMSALMON LEEK GOAT CHS QUICHE BY POUND
23789400000 SPINACH MUSH QUICHE SLICE BY POUND
23807900000 MUSHROOM QUICHE SLICE BY POUND
23808100000 SPINACH QUICHE SLICE BY POUND
23808200000 SPINACH QUICHE WHOLE 12 OUNCES
23808300000 WFM BROC CHEDDAR QUICHE SLICE BY POUND
23808400000 BROCCOLI CHEDD QUICHE 9 IN 12 OUNCES
23949900000 WFM QUICHE TOMATO BASIL SLICE BY POUND
23950200000 WFM QUICHE LORRAINE SLICE BY POUND
23950300000 QUICHE LORRAINE 9 IN 12 OUNCES
23950700000 LEEK GOAT CHEESE QUICHE SLICE BY POUND
23967800000 TOMATO BASIL QUICHE 9IN 12 OUNCES
9948280061 QUICHE BROCCOLI CHEDDAR 12 OUNCES
9948280063 QUICHE LORRAINE 9 12 OUNCES
9948280065 QUICHE TOM BASIL 9 12 OUNCES
75452 CATERING QUICHE LORRAINE 12 OUNCES
75453 CATERING QUICHE BROCCOLI CHDDR 12 OUNCES
75454 QUICHE TOMATO BASIL 12 OUNCES
76009 QUICHE SPIN AND MUSHROOM 12 OUNCES
72418 QUICHE LEEK AND GOAT CHEESE 12 OUNCES

Soft Cheese Recall — E. coli

On Dec. 17, Sally Jackson Cheese of Oroville, Wash., recalled soft, raw milk cheeses made from cow, goat, and sheep milk. The cheeses were distributed nationwide.

The cow and sheep cheeses are wrapped in chestnut leaves, while the goat cheese is wrapped in grape leaves. They may have an outer wrapping of waxed paper.

The cheeses may have been the source of E. coli O157:H7 infections reported by Washington State and Oregon health authorities.

Whole Foods Market carried some of these cheeses. Some carry the Sally Jackson label, but others were simply wrapped in clear plastic and sold with a Whole Foods Market scale label.

E. coli o157:H7 infection can be dangerous. It causes diarrhea, often with bloody stools. Although most healthy adults recover, the infection can cause kidney failure. Consumers who develop symptoms of E. coli infection should immediately seek medical care.

SOURCES:
FDA news releases, Dec. 17, Dec. 24, and Dec. 27, 2010.
FDA web site, accessed Dec. 28, 2010.
CDC news release, Dec. 23, 2010.
CDC web site, accessed Dec. 28, 2010.
J&D Produce news release, Dec. 27, 2010.
Little Bear Produce web site, accessed Dec. 28, 2010.

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