SALINAS (CBS SF) — The Salinas-based produce company Tanimura & Antle Inc. is voluntarily recalling its brand of packaged single head romaine lettuce out of an abundance of caution due to possible E. coli contamination, according to federal health officials.
A bulletin issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday stated that CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are currently investigating several multistate outbreaks of E. coli 0157:H7 infections.
The CDC said that 12 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli have been reported from six states. Five of the people who became ill were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain in a sample of Tanimura & Antle romaine lettuce in a single-head package.
According to the FDA, Tanimura & Antle Inc. on Nov. 6, 2020, voluntarily recalled its packaged single head romaine lettuce labeled with a packed on date of 10/15/2020 or 10/16/2020 due to possible contamination. Packages contain a single head of romaine lettuce with the UPC number 0-27918-20314-9.
The recall is being conducted in consultation with FDA, and is based on the test result of a random sample collected and analyzed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development as part of their routine sampling program.
A total of 3,396 cartons of potentially affected product were distributed in the United States to the following states: AK, OR, CA, TX, AR, OK, IN, NE, MO, TN, WI, NM, SC, WA, NC, OH, VA, MA, PR, and IL. The potentially affected product was shipped in cases packed in either 12, 15, 18 or 24 heads per case.
Retailers and distributors can identify the potentially affected products through the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) sticker attached to exterior of the case. The PTI codes are 571280289SRS1 and 571280290SRS1.
The FDA says no other products or pack dates are being recalled.
E. coli O157:H7 causes a diarrheal illness often with bloody stools. While most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS).
The CDC and FDA investigated an E. coli outbreak earlier this year in May that was also linked to romaine lettuce grown in Salinas.