Archive for October 6th, 2011


Now It’s Not Just Cantaloupes, But Lettuce Too! (Part 2)

posted by Jael Ever @ 19:49 PM
October 6, 2011

 (This blog is the second installment on “Discover Source of Deadly Bacteria in Fruit From a “Poisonous Tree!”)

 This just gets curiouser and curiouser and curiouser!  Now the dreaded listeria bacteria, cited here yesterday, is on romaine lettuce.  The True Leaf Farms of Salinas, California, and its shipper, Church Brothers, estimate they had shipped some 2,500 cartons of the bagged tainted lettuce to some 19 states and Alberta, Canada, before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)––which found the germ during a haphazard inspection of one two-pound bag of lettuce––issued a recall.

 But wait!  This makes it better!  Only 90 cartons are on sale in grocery stores.  The rest  are in restaurants, cafeterias and “other institutions,” such as hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, etc.  And, eh, those places “were notified.”
To make things worse:  CBS News dutifully reports:  “Each year in the U.S., listeriosis sickens about 1,600 people and kills about 260.”

 Of course, it doesn’t matter that the lettuce was shipped around September 12 and 13, since listeria can survive for two months on its host food.  Thus, just as officials expect more than the 19 now dead and 90 sickened by listeria-filled cantaloupes––they know the same numbers can result from the tainted lettuce.

 And then again, responsibility for the 33,000 pounds of poisoned lettuce seems squishy as Bloomberg reports that “closely held Church Brothers, LLC” actually owns True Leaf Farms, and various reports put its headquarters in Oregon, California, Arizona or elsewhere.  Also, CBS News includes conflicting locations, such as Watsonville, and San Juan Baustista, California, as acreage locations where the sickening lettuce could have been grown.  In addition, the dangerous produce could have been shipped from at least six “cooling and shipping facilities.”

 The lettuce was shipped to Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Vermont.

 So, as in the case of the listeria-laced cantaloupes, the question is:  at what point did the bacteria attach itself to the lettuce, at which farm or shipping facility? And a bigger question is what is FDA doing to find out?  Are there only random inspections?  How often are farms, trucks, storage and shipping checked for manure and other sources of listeria?  Or does this government organization just accept the statistic of 260 Americans killed by this nefarious bacteria?  Why can’t the richest country on earth keep its food healthy?

 Surely some of these farmers, business owners and government workers claim to be Christians.  Do they know the commandment in wholesale Christian Bibles:  “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3: 23).  If so, they own Americans much safer food to eat!

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