Orange County Produce is voluntarily recalling fresh red and green bell peppers after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised that a random sample of the peppers had tested positive for Salmonella. The recall is limited to three lots (Lot # SB 7 920, 923, 924) containing 1,208 25# cartons of peppers. They were distributed to farmer’s markets and wholesale food service in Southern California from Sept. 21-24. The product was shipped in cases under the OC Harvest labels, but is typically sold without retail packaging associated with it. All retail suppliers who received the affected lots were notified and directed to remove and destroy any remaining product. Consumers who may have purchased the peppers between Sept. 21 and Oct. 5 should contact the store, restaurant or farmer’s market where they bought them and ask if the product was from the affected lots. If so, the customer should discard or return any unused peppers to that store for a refund. Orange County Produce has ceased distribution and harvest of product from the implicated field, and FDA, the California Department of Public Health and the company are continuing their investigation into the source of the contamination. No illnesses have been reported to date.

  • J T

    FDA usually has the trainees doing the sample collection. All it takes is one new kid who doesn’t know how to properly wash his/her hands or how to properly handle the samples to create unneeded headache for the growers. Or, all it takes is one lab technician to not properly sanitize his equipment in between tests. Or, all it takes is one single bird to poop near one single fruit to contaminate that one and only fruit, leaving the other hundreds of thousands of pounds untouched. What is the FDA’s completely NON-scientific response to this likely isolated single piece of fruit?… DESTROY EVERYTHING!!! I promise you, EVERY single grower somewhere in his vegetable/fruit patch has a piece of produce that has been pooped on by a bird. When FDA gets back a single positive test from a collection of 5 to 10 samples, then it should be treated as an outlier and ignored. Usually FDA collects 10 samples, then group those together into 5 mixed samples for testing. Unless more than one of these groups come back positive, i see no reason for a recall. If there was contamination of the lot, then they would get back more than one positive result.

  • w

    All it takes is for the FDA to be underfunded to produce potential unreliable results.