ORANGE COUNTY, CA - Orange County Produce, LLC (“OC Produce”) is voluntarily working with the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) to coordinate a recall of fresh red and green Bell Peppers for potential contamination with Salmonella. The FDA has advised that a random sample of OC Produce Bell peppers has tested positive for Salmonella.
Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.
The Bell Peppers
The red and green Bell Pepper recall is limited to 3 lots (Lot # SB 7 920, 923, 924) containing 1,208 25# cartons of peppers. The source of the contamination is unknown. The lots were distributed to farmer’s markets and wholesale food service within Southern California between September 21 and September 24, 2013. The product was shipped in cases under the OC Harvest (25 pound cartons) labels. The product is typically sold to retail, food service, and farmer’s market level in bulk weight and has no retail packaging associated with it. All retail suppliers that received these affected lots have been notified and were directed to immediately remove and destroy any remaining product in their inventories.
This recall was the result of a random sampling event on September 25, 2013 by the USDA which revealed the presence of Salmonella on some of the product. OC Produce’s recall and traceability program enabled the company to quickly identify the company field and harvest dates of the affected product, which originated in Southern California. OC Produce has ceased the distribution and harvest of product from the implicated field while the FDA, the California Department of Public Health and the company continue their investigation into the source of the contamination.
Consumers who purchased the above described Bell peppers between the dates of September 21 and October 5, 2013 should contact the store, restaurant or farmers market from where they purchased the product and inquire as to whether the affected product was sold by that store, restaurant or farmers market location. If so, the customer should discard or return any unused product to that store for a refund.
No illnesses have been reported to date. Other than the red and green Bell peppers described above, no other OC Produce product has been affected by this recall.