May 7, 2010 / 1:54 AM / 9 years ago

Freshway Foods recalls romaine lettuce

NEW YORK, May 6 (Reuters) - Freshway Foods on Thursday said it was voluntarily recalling products containing romaine lettuce sold chiefly in the eastern United States because of potential contamination with E.coli bacteria.

The recall pertains to products, sold under the Freshway brand and Imperial Sysco brand, with a “use by” date of May 12 or earlier.

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), which is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly, the company said.

The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and potentially death, Freshway said.

In 2006 an outbreak of a nationwide E.coli forced a nationwide recall of spinach.

Sidney, Ohio-based Freshway said it was working with U.S. Food and Drug Administration to inform consumers of this recall.

This recall includes romaine lettuce products sold by Freshway Foods for food service outlets, wholesale, and in-store retail salad bars and delis. No other products are involved, Freshway said. Freshway Foods does not produce bulk, prepackaged romaine or bagged salad mixes containing romaine for sale in supermarkets, and therefore these products are not included in this recall.

The recalled romaine lettuce products were sold to 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 romaine products also were sold for in-store salad bars and delis for Kroger (KR.N), Giant Eagle Inc [GIAEG.UL], Ingles Markets Inc (IMKTA.O), and Marsh stores in those states.

The recall comes after FDA informed Freshway Foods on Wednesday that an unopened product sample in a New York state laboratory tested positive for the bacteria. An extensive FDA investigation of Freshway Foods’ facility in Sidney has not uncovered any contamination at the plant, the company said.

Consumers with questions may call Freshway Foods’ information desk at 1-888-361-7106 or got to the company’s web site at www.freshwayfoods.com. for more information. (Reporting by Ilaina Jonas editing by Carol Bishopric)

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