Little Bear Fresh Vegetables Recall Issued Due to Salmonella Fears

Concerns about potential salmonella contamination have resulted in a recall of a large variety of Little Bear brand fresh vegetables in the United States and Canada.  

The Little Bear fresh greens recall was announced by the FDA on December 28, after testing found salmonella in parsley in Quebec and cilantro in Detroit. The manufacturer, Texas-based J&D Produce Inc., pulled about 2,500 cases of parsley and more than 4,400 cases of cilantro nationwide once the contamination was discovered. The company then issued a precautionary recall for arugula, beets, collard greens, mustard, dill, and a wide variety of other green vegetables. However, there have been no reports of food poisoning associated with the Little Bear vegetable recall.

The recall affects a variety of fresh vegetables sold under the Little Bear brand label. They were all packed in red, white and blue waxed cartons. Most of the vegetables were sold in banded bunches and tagged with a flag showing a little bear wearing a cowboy hat, a red handkerchief, and a Texas flag. They have pack dates of November 30, 2010, or December 6, 2010.

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The following vegetables are affected by the recall: 

  • Curly Parsley, PLU #4899
  • Cilantro, PLU #4889
  • Arugula, PLU #4884
  • Beets, PLU #4539
  • Collards, PLU #4614
  • Curly Mustard, PLU #4616
  • Daikon (no PLU #)
  • Dill, PLU #4891
  • Golden Beets, PLU #3273
  • Green Kholrabi, PLU #4628
  • Green Swiss Chard, PLU #4528
  • Kale, PLU #4627
  • Leek, PLU #4629
  • Methileaf, UPC #664781 10500 4
  • Mint, PLU #4896
  • Parsley, PLU # 4901
  • Rainbow Chard, UPC #66478140610 1
  • Red Swiss Chard, PLU #4587
  • Texas Mustard, PLU #4618
  • Turnips with tops, PLU #4810
  • Turnip Tops, PLU #4619 

The company said that most of the vegetables are being recalled due to the risk of cross-contamination, and noted that only parsley and cilantro had tested positive for salmonella. J&D officials said they have sanitized their production lines, added additional rinse steps and increased inspections as a result of the contamination.

 Salmonella is a type of bacteria that attacks the gastrointestinal tract, causing mild to severe food poisoning. For most healthy adults, symptoms of food poisoning from salmonella typically resolve after a few days or weeks. However, young children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems have an increased risk of suffering severe food poisoning after ingesting the bacteria. If not properly treated, some cases of salmonella food poisoning can lead to hospitalization, dehydration or death.

The Little Bear vegetable recall comes as the number of salmonella food poisoning illnesses linked to alfalfa sprouts continues to grow. At least 96 people have been reported ill in 16 states with strain of salmonella associated with the sprouts.

The strain of salmonella involved in the alfalfa sprout outbreak, Salmonella Serotype I 4,5,12,i-, is an antibiotic resistant strain. About a quarter of those who have fallen ill have required hospitalization.

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