Is any food safe to eat - fruit recall

momj47July 22, 2014

A Central Valley company has recalled certain lots of peaches, nectarines, plums and pluots sold at Trader Joe's, Costco and other retailers after the stone fruits tested positive for a potentially dangerous food-borne pathogen.

Wawona Packing Co. of Cutler (Tulare County) recalled the fruits packed between June 1 and July 12 because of the possibility they may be contaminated with listeria, an organism that's particularly dangerous to young children and frail and elderly people.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

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No, probably not. At least not commercially available stuff, and probably not even some of the stuff we grow ourselves.

Your chances with Listeria, however, can be reduced by rinsing all fresh produce well under running water. Washing by using soap/vegetable washes, etc., has not been shown to be superior.

Melons and things with hard rinds should be scrubbed with a brush under running water and you should wash your hands after handling produce.

You know, regular "clean" stuff.....


    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 7:26PM
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I just received a call from Kroger about the fruit recall. I purchased nectarines that are being recalled. We haven't eaten any of them yet. Is rinsing really enough to make them safe? The call said to return them to the store.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 8:55PM
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I got a call and follow up letter in the mail from Costco a couple of week ago about Foster Farms B/S chicken breasts I bought early in March. I repackage everything before freezing so I donâÂÂt know if I still have any or not. They gave me my money back but I still have to try to figure out whatâÂÂs in the freezer.

I bought apricots from Trader Joe's last week but there not on the recall. Today I bought peaches from Costco. I always wash produce and rinse in vinegar water but itâÂÂs getting scary out there. The last hearts of romaine I bought was so dirty I ended up tossing about half of it.

I tossed 2 bottles of AnnieâÂÂs all natural salad dressing last week. They had a use by date of March 2015 but were rancid. It seems so much I buy anymore is rancid, dirty or just plain bad. Still having issues with rancid Best Food so I taste everything before mixing in to anything IâÂÂm now storing unopened jars in the refrigerator and letâÂÂs not even talk about the organic chicken sandwich slices I bought that were so salty we couldnâÂÂt eat it.

About the only thing we buy that we donâÂÂt have to worry about is beer, wine and booze.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 10:23PM
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We received an automated call early this afternoon from one of the local grocery stores that we shop at, Smith's, regarding this. We had bought peaches, plums and nectarines from them. With the exception of two peaches, everything else had already been eaten by my husband (I'm not a fruit eater).

I very rarely purchase anything that's perishable, including a lot of jarred stuff from Wal-Mart anymore. We found a lot of the jarred stuff was already either bad or going bad when they were opened. We live in the desert and think that it might have to do with the long distance it travels and that refrigeration isn't as cool as it should in transport for the heat here. Even packaged breads already seem kind of stale right away. We never had problems with most WM stuff before we moved here.

Claudia, isn't beer, wine and booze their own food group? LOL!


    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 10:51PM
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I've followed re-calls weekly since the 2007 melamine disaster. (like checking e-mail).
Just a quick check. I like to know what is going on...some knowingly involved in so many sick infants were beheaded. Others jailed. 6 or more ports of entry into the US labeled wheat or soy protein,etc. in palate sacks...horribly deceitful.
No need to panic or get frustrated. Find and support local organic farms, CSA's. Not everyone can garden and grow like Annie or i do. Just watch it. Cook seasonally and find the time to make good sauces and freeze. Or get to know where your grains come from. Where any of it comes from...
A shame really.
Do take notices seriously. A healthy body and soul will process a bit of toxins fine. No need to push it for the young or elderly. Or sensitive immune systems. Eat less and buy quality. Support those providing the best and prices will come down.
I spray my garden every weekend...with diluted baking soda for powdery mildew..and that is it. I get what nature decides and accept that.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 12:06AM
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Eunice, if they are part of the recall, discard or return them. You can't be sure it's just on the outside of the fruit, it could be in the fruit itself and some of it has already been found to be contaminated.

Listeria can be in the soil, picked up from the normal growing process, plus the handling while being harvested, packaged, shipped, etc. can contaminate it, so the Listeria could be on the outside of the fruit, or on the inside, in the fruit itself.

Even without Listeria, how many hands do you think handled that piece of produce lying in the cooler, from picking to packaging to shipping to stocking, plus other shoppers? ALL produce should be rinsed under running cold water before using and consuming.

That won't necessarily protect you, as I said, it could be in the fruit itself, but rinsing produce well can give you a much better chance of avoiding problems in your own kitchen.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:20AM
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I don't have any of the recalled fruit, and I don't know if it helps or not (maybe someone can ring in here), but I always wash things with a diluted bleach solution--that includes the outside skin of mangoes and avocados before cutting and using them.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 2:51AM
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If you check the recall site, there are recalls every few days.

Food recalls are common.


Here is a link that might be useful: Recalls

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 7:39AM
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I wash ALL produce (homegrown and commercial) when I bring it into the kitchen - this way it's ready-to-use. The recipe I use for a produce wash is from "Rich Food Poor Food" by Jayson Calton, PhD and Mira Calton, CN.

1 cup water
1 c. white vinegar
1 T. baking soda
juice of half a lemon

Mix ingredients in a tall pitcher to allow space for baking soda's "foam eruption" that occurs after vinegar is added.

Store in a spray bottle.

Spray on fruit/vegetable, wait ten minutes, and wash off with cool water.

(from the same book) A study by Cook's Illustrated examined four different cleaning techniques for produce:
1. a diluted vinegar solution followed by rinsing with cold water
2. antibacterial soap
3. water and a scrub brush
4. rinsed with water

"The results showed that the scrub brush with water removed 85% of unwanted bacteria (a little more than water alone), but the vinegar rinse removed 98% of bacteria on the surface of fresh fruits and vegetables. Interestingly, the study recommended against the use of antibacterial soap because of the ingredient triclosan. This agent, found in many antibacterial soaps, is believed to have the potential to eventually breed drug-resistant bacteria."


    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 9:00AM
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Look into ultrasonic cleaners.

I also use UV germicidal light for when I have to make food for others.

For myself, I don't do anything.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 9:14AM
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Thanks for the recipe Grainlady! The only think I lack is a bottle to store it in, so that's on the agenda for today.

I thought that I read a mild vinegar rinse can help keep produce fresh a bit longer, too. We eat it pretty quickly, but there are always things that get overlooked in the crisper.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 10:12AM
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FYI- White vinegar is made from grain. If you're gluten free, that could cause some issues.
Here's a quote from Heinz:
Heinzî Distilled White Vinegar is made from sun-ripened grain and crystal clear water. With a clean, crisp flavor, it's ideal for your favorite marinades, salads, and recipes. Also, due to its mild acidity (5%), it is a great all natural helper around the house for cleaning and other chores and at a fraction of the cost of chemical based products.
Made from select sun-ripened grain, diluted with water to a uniform pickling and table strength of 5%(50 grains) acidity.

This post was edited by compumom on Wed, Jul 23, 14 at 15:07

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:41PM
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The grain is corn though. I think that's not an issue for celiacs?

Some Heinzî VinegarâÂÂs are gluten free. Heinzî Distilled White Vinegar and Apple Cider Flavored Vinegar are sourced from corn, not from wheat, rye, barley, or oats. Wine Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar are sourced from grapes and apples, respectively, not grains.
However, Heinz Malt Vinegar, Salad Vinegar and Tarragon Vinegars are NOT gluten free because they all contain barley.

Here is a link that might be useful: Heinz FAQ

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 3:46PM
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Fori is not pleased

Any suspect fruit should be baked into a summer torte.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 3:51PM
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Hey Stumpie, thanks for the clarification! I had thought that some where made from grains, perhaps not the Heinz brand. Contrary to what you would expect, even some rice vinegars aren't gluten free. Erring on the side of caution, some people with autoimmune issues have trouble with corn too.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:08PM
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"Stumpy"... Haven't heard that one in a while!

The only reason I looked is because I have a friend who's a wannabe celiac, and I know for a fact two weeks ago she was using white vinegar. :)

Grainlady - Is that recommendation against antibacterial soap because it's ineffective, or just a "political statement?" (I've got no issue with the latter, just asking.)

This post was edited by foodonastump on Wed, Jul 23, 14 at 20:21

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 8:18PM
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What you read above is a quote from the book and all there was on the subject. If you need better/more information, you may want to do more research. You may be able to locate the Cook's Illustrated information. I remember a discussion on the subject between Chris Kimball and Adam on America's Test Kitchen, but not sure how long ago.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 8:37AM
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Re: antibacterial soap, the FDA is looking into the concerns since studies about it's effects have been done since it was approved for use.
I read a little blurb about it from the Mayo Clinic.
"Research has shown that triclosan:

Alters hormone regulation in animals
Might contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs
Might be harmful to the immune system
When you use a product containing triclosan, you can absorb a small amount through your skin or mouth. A 2008 study, which was designed to assess exposure to triclosan in a representative sample of U.S. children and adults, found triclosan in the urine of nearly 75 percent of those tested.

Triclosan isn't an essential ingredient in many products. While triclosan added to toothpaste has been shown to help prevent gingivitis, there's no evidence that antibacterial soaps and body washes containing triclosan provide any extra benefits, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

If you're concerned about triclosan, look for products that don't list triclosan in their ingredients."

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:24AM
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Do you store any excess produce wash in the refrigerator or is it a one time mix/use?

Thanks in advance.

Cathy in SWPA

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:54AM
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I store a spritz bottle (labled: Produce Wash) under the sink in my kitchen and give it a shake before using it. Since I'm harvesting produce everyday from the garden, plus store and Farmer's Market purchases, I go through this pretty quickly.

It's not unlike other homemade cleaners using more "natural" ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, Borax, castile soap, hydrogen peroxide, vodka, washing soda, witch hazel, essential oils and water. I've always stored them at room temperature without a problem.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 12:52PM
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Thanks, Grainlady. Just picked a bunch of green beans and want to try this.

Cathy in SWPA

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 1:25PM
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I buy most veggies,fruits from farmers markets I know prettymuch what Im getting.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:51PM
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edited to delete the can of worms I might otherwise have opened. :)

This post was edited by foodonastump on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 23:26

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:19PM
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FOAS, you are getting absolutely judicious in your posts, aren't you? (grin)


    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:34PM
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"-----I buy most veggies,fruits from farmers markets I know prettymuch what Im getting.---"

I would be very careful buying "local".

Big corporate farming is efficient to the fraction of a penny in the use of chemicals.

For small local family farms, I am not sure that's the case.

Farming is a tough live, to get the most out from the land, labor and profit, sometimes maximum spraying is the answer.


This post was edited by dcarch on Fri, Jul 25, 14 at 9:42

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 7:52AM
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You may not be aware soil in the western U.S. from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean contains a particularly high count of Type A Clostridium botulinum spores, the type of spores that produce the toxin most dangerous to humans, and Colorado and other states in the West have higher per capita rates of food-borne botulism than other parts of the U.S.

This time of the year we get peaches from Colorado and I'm always careful to wash them carefully as soon as they get home. This is a concern because you may get windfall fruit that has been sitting on the ground where it can pick up the bacteria spores.

It's not that many years ago we were cautioned NOT to can pie filling at home because of safety problems. Dr. Stan Wallin, Food Technologist at the University of Nebraska, developed safe recipes and procedures for home canned apple and cherry pie filling that are acidified with lemon juice. If your recipe doesn't include lemon juice, you may want to up-date it. Dr. Wallin also cautioned windfall apples should NOT be used due to bacteria picked up from soil.

So you NEVER know.... You just need to do what you can, and that includes proper handling, washing, and preparation.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:58AM
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