The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in processed celery at the SanGar Fresh Cut Produce facility in San Antonio. The results matched the initial testing done by Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), which had closed down the facility on Oct. 20 after the Listeria bacteria was linked to five deaths in Texas.
The tests found Listeria in multiple locations in the plant. The state’s investigation into the company’s factory was prompted by a spate of 10 such cases—including five deaths—reported to the department over the last eight months.
A recall was issued on Oct. 20, 2010, citing packages of chopped celery from the facility that had been sold to hospitals, restaurants and schools since January. DSHS ordered SanGar to stop processing food on Oct. 20, 2010, and to recall all products shipped from the plant since January 2010.
Inspectors also found sanitation issues at the plant and believe the Listeria found in the chopped celery may have contaminated other products made at the plant.