A California grower is recalling 2,498 cartons of chopped or shredded romaine because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.


Church Brothers of Salinas, CA. said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration informed it Thursday that a sample of its True Leaf Farms chopped romaine, taken as part of a random check from a single bag, tested positive for Listeria. The test was part of an FDA research program to understand the prevalence of Listeria in produce, particularly lettuce and leafy greens.

No illnesses have been reported.

This recall is not related to the cantaloupe Listeria outbreak associated with Jensen Farms of Colorado. 

Initially, the recall involved romaine shipped Sept. 12 and 13 to an institutional food service distributor in Oregon, which further distributed it to at least two additional states, Washington and Idaho. At the request of the FDA, the recall has been expanded to cover additional product shipped to wholesale food service distributors in 19 states and Alberta, Canada. The states are Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Vermont.

The recalled bags of chopped romaine were packed in True Leaf Farms cardboard cartons. The 2# bags have a “use by date” of 9/29/11 and the bag and box code B256-46438-8.

The only outlets where the romaine was available for direct consumer purchase were Unified Grocers, Inc. Cash & Carry Smart Food Service stores in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The product at those outlets was packed in True Leaf Farms cardboard cartons.

In the recall news release, True Leaf Farms said it is working with FDA to inform consumers of this recall and with its food service distribution customers to ensure that other romaine products that may be implicated are pulled from the market.

“We are fully cooperating with the FDA, and we are contacting all of our customers to ensure prompt removal of any product potentially associated with the recall,” said Steve Church, True Leaf Farms. “We are committed to conducting this recall quickly and efficiently to reduce any risk to public health.”

Anyone with the recalled romaine should not consume it, and should either destroy it or call Church Brothers for product pick up.

Consumers may call Church Brothers, LLC, the sales agent for True Leaf Farms, at 1-800-799-9475, or may visit www.churchbrothers.com for updates.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.