In what is one of the most confusing recalls ever, some Kroger grocery stores in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, and Smith’s grocery stores in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Nevada were recalling Growers Express brand iceberg lettuce Friday, saying it might be contaminated with Salmonella.
But news reports described the recall as “unofficial,” and the California Department of Public Health said the Salinas-based Growers Express had not informed authorities in that state of its action.
A Smith’s Food and Drug spokeswoman, Marsha Gilford, told a Utah television station that as a precaution customers should dispose of iceberg lettuce with the Growers Express brand sticker. Later, the station “clarified” the recall. saying the implicated lettuce was not from Growers Express but from another, unnamed company, although Growers Express iceberg lettuce was being pulled from shelves “to be on the safe side.”
Then Jamie Strachan, CEO of Growers Express, said Salmonella had been found in an Arizona field adjacent to his company’s acreage, and that Growers Express had alerted retailers and suggested a recall, even though there was no evidence that his company’s lettuce was contaminated.