DENVER (CBS4/AP)- A recall of California lettuce that may be tainted with listeria now includes Colorado.
The romaine lettuce came from True Leaf Farms of Salinas. A random sample tested positive for the bacteria, though no illnesses have been reported.
True Leaf Farms, a processing arm of Salinas, California-based Church Brothers LLC, is voluntarily recalling romaine that was shipped between Sept. 12 and 13 to a food service distributor in Oregon, who shipped it to Washington and Idaho.
The lettuce was shipped to wholesale food distributors in Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Vermont.
The recall includes lettuce with a “Use By” date of Sept. 29 with the bag and box code: B256-46438-8.
California health officials are looking into the contamination, said Ken August, spokesman for the California Department of Public Health, but have not yet determined how the lettuce became contaminated.
“Anytime there is a contaminated food product, we are concerned and take steps so that it’s removed from shelves as quickly as possible and to notify consumers,” he said.
Listeria rarely shows up in produce, but an outbreak linked to cantaloupe from a Colorado farm has caused at least 72 illnesses, including up to 16 deaths, in 18 states.
August said the state is working with the company to verify the distribution of the produce being recalled. Most of the lettuce was sold to California institutions such as restaurants and cafeterias, he said, and only a small amount went to retail in other states, August said.
The Salinas Valley is known as the “Salad Bowl of the World” for its production of lettuce and numerous other crops.
Lettuce currently picked at the farm is safe to eat, said Steve Church, CEO of Church Brothers, which sells and markets the farm’s produce. The company is working with the FDA, Church said, to determine if there are any problems at the farm and is taking more time to sanitize its produce.
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