Food Contamination Alert: Freshway Foods romaine lettuce products recalled

Food Contamination Alert: Freshway Foods romaine lettuce products recalled


05/07/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Sidney, OH—Freshway Foods, in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has participated in a voluntary recall of products containing romaine lettuce. The product safety recall was announced on May 6, 2010 concerning potential Escherichia coli O145 contamination.

The recall stems from the discovery of the E. coli O145 bacteria in a previously unopened sample of romaine lettuce. The sample tested positive at a New York state laboratory. According to the FDA, “E. coli O145 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 (HUS). HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.”

Freshway Foods manufactured the romaine lettuce product to be sold in food service outlets, wholesale, and in-store retail salad bars and delis. The company did not produce any bulk, prepackaged romaine or bagged salad mixes to be sold in supermarkets.

The company did however supply wholesalers and food service outlets in Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The recalled lettuce was also distributed to in-store salad bars and delis for Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh stores in the states listed above.

Sidney-based Freshway Foods is working with the FDA and other health officials as a means of identifying the source and handling the situation in an appropriate manor. There has not been any discovery of bacterial contamination at the manufacturer’s facility as of yet.

Company president Phi Gilardi reportedly stated, “Freshway Foods is committed to our customers and their consumers who enjoy our products every day. We practice strict food safety guidelines to ensure that our products are as safe as possible, and we will continue to look for opportunities for improvement… We are voluntarily issuing this recall because we want to do everything possible to minimize risk to public health.”

Consumers who purchased the potentially hazardous romaine lettuce from in-store salad bars and delis at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh retailers have been advised to discard these products immediately.

For more information regarding the food safety recall, consumers may contact the Freshway Foods’ information desk at (888) 361-7106 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or on the company’s Web site,

For a full list of recalled romaine products, please refer to the FDA’s press release at

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Product Liability Attorneys.

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