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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

A Listeria Recall Without Illnesses is a Good Thing

Screen Shot 2011-10-13 at 8.09.04 PM.pngGiant Eagle is recalling bags of shredded Iceberg lettuce because of possible contamination with listeria, at least the third produce item suspected in recent weeks nationwide.

The Food and Drug Administration informed Giant Eagle of the presence of listeria monocytogenes in a routine random sample test of Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market 8-ounce package of Shredded Iceberg Lettuce, produced by River Ranch Fresh Foods LLC, of Salinas, Calif., with a use-by date of Oct. 14, 2011.

The packaged product affected is Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market Shredded Iceberg Lettuce (UPC 3003430195). Additionally, the shredded iceberg lettuce was used in a small number of prepared deli ring sandwiches. The affected deli ring sandwiches include: Giant Eagle Large Italian Sandwich Ring (UPC 23755100000), Giant Eagle Mini Italian Sandwich Ring (UPC 24755500000), Giant Eagle Large New York Sandwich Ring (UPC 22755100000), Giant Eagle Mini New York Sandwich Ring (UPC 25755500000), Giant Eagle Large All America Sandwich Ring (UPC 21755100000), and Giant Eagle Mini All American Sandwich Ring (UPC 26755500000).

There are no reported cases of customer illness linked to consumption of this item, Giant Eagle officials said.

  • Art Davis

    Guess what???? You keep looking for Listeria monocytogenes on leafy greens and you are going to find it from time to time. The question is what is the value of that information? Possibly knowing the approximate frequency of occurrence would be useful to determine the effectiveness of some future mitigation step or perhaps enough data will be accumulated to determine that some particular area or farm within an area is a particular “Hotspot”. I think either of these is unlikely given the relatively low level of testing being done and the relative infrequency of positive findings. It would be interesting to know just what FDA plans to do with the data and at what point in time they think they might have enough accumulated to pursue their goal. In the meantime I expect continued occasional recalls that accomplish very little in terms of public protection and possibly blunt the overall effectiveness of the recall procedure as folks get used to and begin to ignore FDA “Crying Wolf” to no effect.