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Salmonella Test Prompts South Florida Produce to Recall Jalapeno Peppers

South Florida Produce has recalled certain jalapeno peppers because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.

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The potential for contamination with the pathogen was noted during a routine test by a retail store, which revealed the possible presence of Salmonella in packs of 2, 10 and 40 count packages, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration news release.

This is the third recall announcement this week related to the same suspect jalapeno peppers.

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.  Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.  In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

According to the news release issued by the FDA Friday, no illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The peppers recalled by South Florida Produce went to distributors in Oxford, NC; Lake Worth, FL; Washington, DC; Pompano Beach, FL; Fair Lawn, NJ; and Toronto, Ontario, Canada via customer truck March 5-7, 2012, the recall news release stated.

The potentially contaminated peppers recalled by South Florida Produce come in bulk 1 1/9 bushel cartons marked with the lot numbers J000010995, J000010996, J000010997, J000010998, J000010999, J000011000, J000020135, J000020136, J000020137, J000020138, J000020139 and J000030053.  These lots numbers appear on the pallet labels located on the front and back of each pallet.

According to the news release, South Florida Produce customers who have inventory of the jalapeno peppers with the above lot numbers are urged to destroy the potentially contaminated  product and contact Leslie DiStefano, Director of Sales and Food Safety, at 954-459-0106 to verify receipt of this recall and destruction of the product.

Castellini Company recalled jalapenos distributed from its Wilder, Kentucky facility because they had the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

Club Chef recalled certain salsas because they had the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella from jalapenos, an ingredient.

A random test by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in a store in Ohio revealed the presence of Salmonella in a case of jalapeno peppers.

Correction: The headline on an earlier version of this recall notice stated that more jalapeno peppers had been recalled. The peppers potentially contaminated with Salmonella are part of the same recall.

© Food Safety News
  • Bill

    This is from a msg I posted at thepacker.com:
    These Jalapenos were sampled from a GROCERY STORE. The contamination EASILY could have happened to them at the store. It is absurd that a recall can be justified when the sample is taken anywhere other than directly from the produce carton at the actual farm/packing house where it originated. How many times have you seen leaking raw chicken/beaf/pork packages at the grocery store? If you look, you will see it.
    Maybe farmers/distributors need to start requiring the buyers to pay to have 3rd party audits done on the people they are supplying. Currently, the buyers are FORCING THE FARMERS TO PAY for audits, while doing NOTHING WHATSOEVER to ensure the products stay safe after they leave the packinghouse. Let’s see how the retailers like being forced by the market to have multiple 3rd party audits done EVERY YEAR, and to be the ones to pay for them. Even though the audits are 98+% similar, farmers are still forced by market pressure to get the extra redundant audits, even if only a single buyer is “requesting” it.

  • Your post contains an interesting perspective. You argue that the only evidence that should precipitate a recall is testing performed at the actual farm/packing house. This makes a certain amount of sense, given, as you point out, the possibility of contamination downstream, which may easily lead to a finger-pointing exercise in the case of a problem and not just between the farm/packing house and retailer. However, the consumer doesn’t purchase produce from the farm/packing house, he/she buys it from the store and would like to think that a safe purchase was made. Cross contamination may also occur during transit. Trucking companies are quick too point out that their vehicles are regularly “sanitized.” Yet, this assurance may only mean is that a truck in use seven days a week is sprayed with hot water once a week, or every other week, maybe.
    Birds seem to take perverse delight by pooping on our vehicles; cars, trucks, whatever. I have seen produce trucks that are not rain proof. If a bird-poop bedecked truck hauling produce is not rain proof and is nevertheless obliged to drive through a rainstorm, what do you suppose is going to be delivered to the retailer?
    In the U.K., as I understand it, the retailer bears the ultimate responsibility for food safety. Perhaps that is because it is the retailer who does the final hand-off to the consumer, is at the end of a long line of responsibility hand-offs and is, perhaps, in the best position to keep an eye on the supply chain.
    Still this example is the first I have ever heard of a grocery store analyzing anything at all. Most retail store managers I have come in contact with feel that the safety of the food they sell is “Corporate’s Problem.” Food Safety Analysis, LLC has recently published a press release offering affordable testing for Arsenic, Lead and Mercury directly to consumers (http://www.prlog.org/11841844-state-of-the-art-affordable-testing-for-arsenic-lead-and-mercury-now-available-to-consumers.html). I haven’t quite figured out how to reliably bring microbiological testing to consumers, but I am thinking about it.
    Meanwhile, the story does not tell us whether the farm/packing house has evidence that their peppers were free of Salmonella before shipment.