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Taylor issues another recall; E-coli potential culprit

Taylor Farms California, Inc. of Salinas, CA, is initiating a voluntary recall of foodservice bagged salads that have the potential of being contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7, according to a letter dated May 30 obtained this morning by The Produce News.

The recalled salad bags have code dates of STF137A3, STF137A4, STF138B3 and STF138B4. The code date is typically located in the front panel of the bags.

Taylor Farms President Mark Borman wrote in a letter sent to distributors, "Please note that there have been no reported illnesses associated with this recall. We are taking this action as a precautionary measure and are working closely with the Food & Drug Administration and California Department of Public Health."

The company did not answer calls to its Salinas headquarters early this morning.

Taylor Farms California has set up a customer service call center at 1-800-731-7388 that will be staffed Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

"Please urge any customers who have purchased a recalled product to destroy it per the attached guidelines and to contact their service representative for a refund," said Mr. Borman. "If you have further distributed any of the attached recalled products, please immediately institute a recall of those products to insure they are removed from the distribution chain and destroyed accordingly."  

This is the third recall associated with Taylor Farms' parent company, Taylor Fresh Foods Inc. of Salinas, CA, in a two-week window.

Last week, all bagged lettuce produce by River Ranch Fresh Foods — a sister company of Taylor Fresh — in a specific part of its Salinas, CA, facility from late April through May 12 were recalled because of random and target sampling that detected contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The same week, Taylor Farms recalled several different packs of organic baby spinach with a "best by" date of May 25. The pathogen of interest in that recall was Salmonella, and there were no reports of illnesses.

E. coli O157:H7 causes a diarrheal illness often with bloody stools. Although most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.