The latest recall of selected romaine lettuce by Fresh Express is almost an exact duplicate of a recall the company went through in May.
There is one major exception, however. May’s recall of Fresh Express Romaine-based ready to eat salads occurred because the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) had found Salmonella contamination. This second recall concerns possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination.
Other than that, most of the details are remarkably similar.
Both the May and July recalls are for Romaine-based products with an “S” in their product codes and both recalls came just a few days after the “use by” dates had passed.
So as in May, most of the potentially contaminated product is probably not going to be found in grocery store coolers but in the home crisper drawers of consumers who already bought the product.
No illnesses were associated with the May recall, and so far, none are known to be linked to the July recall.
The footprints for the two recalls are also remarkably similar. Twenty states and most of Canada are involved. Canada was first by a few hours with details on the July 14 recall of the selected romaine lettuce products.
The affected romaine products have “use-by” dates of July 9-12 and have an “S” in the product code.
This time FDA found E. coli O157:H7 in a random test of a package of Hearts of Romaine.
The latest recalled salad products were distributed in Arizona, Arkansas, California Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, Washington, and Nevada.
The list of states for the May recall also included Alaska.
Fresh Express is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chiquita Brands International.
Anyone with questions can contact the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center at 800-242-5472.