Nationwide Salad Recall Impacts Restaurants: Here’s What You Need To Know
Over the weekend, the FDA announced that River Ranch Fresh Foods had voluntarily expanded a large salad recall, due to potential Listeria contamination. And while the bagged salads and other lettuce products haven't sickened anyone yet, there's still reason to be concerned. The products in question aren't just for consumer use; many of the potentially dangerous vegetables were distributed to restaurants nation wide.
According to the FDA, the recalled salad products were not only “distributed throughout the United States and Canada under various sizes,” they were also packaged under several different brand names. Additionally, they were distributed by Sysco–a name that anyone who's ever worked in food service will recognize, because it's one of the biggest distributers of food to restaurants.
Which means that you not only need to check the list of various labels that the salad may be called at the store, but also be aware that the side salad or even coleslaw (shredded cabbage was included, too) at your favorite lunch spot may, possibly, be contaminated. This week, consider ordering the fruit cup, cottage cheese, or other non-salad side item, instead.
River Ranch's website is pretty out of date (there are no press releases since 2009), but the FDA is doing a good job of updating the information. The most recent update lists dozens of bagged romaine hearts, pre-cut salads, coleslaw, and salad mixes as part of the recall, as well as clarifies which other names that the salads may have been marketed under, which includes Farm Stand, Hy-Vee, Shurfresh, and The Farmer’s Market.
As you may recall from previous listeria outbreaks, infections caused by contamination can be a deadly disease in children and the elderly. Listeria may cause a multitude of flu-like symptoms, such as severe headache, fever, joint stiffness, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, and has also been known to cause miscarriages and stillbirths.
No one has reportedly been sickened by the recall so far, but because listeria's symptoms can seem so innocuous, there may be individuals who were infected but didn't seek medical attention. If you or someone you know suffers from similar symptoms, call your doctor and report them. That way, the outbreak (if there is one) will be more easily tracked and recorded.
Image: ffolas via Shutterstock