Spinach, carrots, and other foods recalled

September 10, 2007

Spinach—bags and bags of it—are being recalled once again.

Editor’s Addition:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Salinas, CA — August 28, 2007 — Metz Fresh, LLC is voluntarily recalling bagged spinach as a result of a positive test for Salmonella found during routine company testing.

The spinach is distributed under the label Metz Fresh, in both retail and food service packages. These include 10 and 16 oz bags as well as 4-2.5 lb. and 4 lb. cartons. The only Metz Fresh product affected is spinach that bears the tracking codes 12208114, 12208214 and 12208314. It was distributed in the continental United States and Canada.

This time, it’s due to a batch of spinach tainted with salmonella, and the California grower is voluntarily recalling 8,118 cases of it from grocers and food service organizations in 48 states and Canada.

This news comes a week or so after the recall of baby carrots, which were contaminated with shigella, a bug that causes vomiting, nausea, fever, and other not-so-fun signs of food poisoning.

After reading about that—and realizing that I had purchased a bag of possibly contaminated baby carrots from Trader Joe’s earlier that week—I tossed them out. And, instead of being annoyed, I was just relieved that I hadn’t started snacking on them yet.

In case you think that was the extent of it, earlier this week, patrons of Jamba Juice were warned that they may have contracted Hepatitis A. In this case, the threat was limited to roughly 4,000 customers in the San Jose, California area.

In the past month, the Food and Drug Administration has also issued warnings for green beans, oysters from Washington, fresh ginger from China, smoked fish from various places, and even whole wheat bread (due to the fact that it may contain small chips of metal).

It’s pretty unnerving for anyone who is trying to eat well and get five daily servings of fruits and vegetables. As it is, I struggle to eat enough produce, and it only becomes more challenging when I’m wondering if my next salad could send me to the doctor’s office.

While I try to get my produce from the local farmer’s market, the reality is that most of it comes from Trader Joe’s and a large natural foods chain store. And now that I’ve had a few close calls, I’ve started paying attention to the many recalls out there.

In fact, I’m starting to wonder if it’s safer to stick to totally over-processed foods, or maybe just head over to McDonalds. Okay, I’m only kidding.

But right now, I’m not so sure that a diet of rich in spinach, carrots, whole wheat bread, and other healthy foods is all that it’s cracked up to be.

-Published on LIME.com (http://www.lime.com)/August 29, 2007

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