Produce Recalled After Testing Positive for Salmonella

Dec 28, 2010   

An outbreak of salmonella has led to a second recall of produce this week. Yesterday, representatives from J&D Produce, Inc. announced that it was recalling its cilantro and parsley after samples of the products tested positive for salmonella. Although there have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products, the Texas-based distributor announced its efforts were a “precautionary, voluntary recall.”

Although J&Ds recall is a voluntary measure, there is currently no federal authority to issue a mandatory recall of contaminated food products. Under the current regulatory scheme, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cannot force companies to recall contaminated products. Rather, most of the Agencys power in this area is in the form of publicizing news of possible contamination to the public. For instance, in the other recall situation that happened this week, the FDA issued a press release warning consumers not to eat Tiny Greens alfalfa sprouts because they may contain salmonella.

While exposing potential food hazards to the public is currently the FDAs main recourse in the area of recalls, this will soon change. As previously reported, the Food Safety Modernization Act, which is expected to be signed into law by President Obama within the week, will give the FDA more power in the area of food safety. Specifically, the Act provides the FDA with mandatory recall authority, enabling the Agency to issue a recall after a company fails to voluntarily recall a potentially hazardous product.

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