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California farm recalls lettuce over contamination concerns

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 9:46 AM EDT, Fri September 30, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Chopped and shredded romaine lettuce is recalled over contamination concerns, the FDA says
  • The recall involves the same bacteria that caused 13 deaths from tainted cantaloupes
  • No illnesses have been reported from the lettuce, the FDA says

(CNN) -- A California lettuce grower has recalled 2,498 cartons of chopped or shredded romaine lettuce shipped to wholesale food service distributors in 19 states and Canada over concerns the produce may be contaminated with the same bacteria that caused 13 deaths in an outbreak traced to tainted cantaloupes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and True Leaf Farms initially reported the recall of 90 cartons of chopped and shredded romaine lettuce on Thursday, saying a random sample detected listeria monocytogenes in one bag pulled from a lot shopped on September 12 and September 13. Later Thursday, True Leaf issued a statement saying the FDA asked the company to expand the recall.

No illnesses have been reported, the FDA said.

The affected lettuce was available for direct purchase at Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice warehouses in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, It also shipped to food service distributors in Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Vermont. It also was sent to a distributor in Alberta and British Columbia.

Listeria victim's wife: It's 'pure hell'
Bad cantaloupes kill 13 people

The recalled lettuce carries a use by date of "9/29/11" and the bag and box code B256-46438-8. The FDA said anyone who has the lettuce should destroy it or contact the company to come pick it up.

Listeria can cause fever, muscle aches and gastrointestinal problems. It usually causes only mild illness for healthy people, but it can be extremely dangerous for older adults, people with weakened immune systems, newborns and pregnant women, in whom listeriosis can cause miscarriages and stillbirths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The listeria bacteria recently was blamed in a multi-state outbreak associated with tainted cantaloupes. At last count, 13 people had died and 72 had been made ill in 18 states after consuming cantaloupes grown by a Colorado farm.

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