December 12, 2011
Traces Of Salmonella Lead To Cilantro Recall
California-based food provider Pacific International has announced that it will voluntarily recall some 6,141 cartons of the herb cilantro after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerted the company that it had detected traces of the bacteria salmonella in samples of their product.
While there have been no reports of illness yet, the company has requested that anyone who purchased their cilantro between November 16 and December 10 please return it to the supermarket where they purchased it or simply dispose it.
The suspect cilantro was distributed to retailers in seven states, including California, Arizona, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Indiana, South Carolina and Missouri. Pacific says that bunches of the potentially-contaminated herb – known as coriander in much of the rest of the world – have the name “Pacific” on the twist tie and carry the UPC code 33383 80104.
The cilantro in question was grown by Salt River Farming just outside Phoenix, Arizona. Scientists are still working to identify the source of the contamination.
Salmonella is genus name of the rod-shaped enteric bacteria most commonly associated with food poisoning. It is closely related to the genus Escherichia, whose most well-known representative is E. coli is another common food-borne pathogen. The strains arose from a common ancestor over 100 million years ago in response to the evolutionary divergence of their hosts. Salmonella is commonly found in the intestinal tract of birds while Escherichia is an important part of the mammalian gut flora.
Though very rarely fatal, Salmonella infections in otherwise healthy adults may result in fever, nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Young children, the elderly or people suffering from weakened immune systems, however, are at a significantly higher risk of serious health complications associated with infection.
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