The Santa Maria, Calif.-based farm that was identified as a source of E. coli-tainted romaine lettuce is citing "an abundance of caution" as it has voluntarily pulled red- and green-leaf lettuce and cauliflower harvested from Nov. 27-30 from market shelves.
Adam Bros. Family Farms cautions that none of the newly recalled product has tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 -- the strain in romaine that authorities say has sickened 87 people in the U.S. and Canada -- and no illnesses have been reported as a result of eating the other produce.
However, "Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. feels a strong commitment to its customers and has worked for years to provide a safe and healthy food supply.," the company states in a news release.
"As of 12/13/2018 Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. has notified its effected customers of all product that was recalled, asking that the product not be eaten, sold, or transferred. Furthermore, Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. asked that its customers notify the downline chain of custody to insure a full recall," the release states.
Krista Peters, an Adam Bros. spokeswoman, declined to comment further when contacted by Western Farm Press. She says the company is in the process of hirng a public-relations firm to handle media inquiries.
Adam Bros., a fifth-generation family farm dating to 1850, was named last week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of eight farms identified in the government's traceback process as sources of the outbreak.
Found in reservoir
Amid its investigation, the CDC identified the outbreak strain of E. coli in sediment collected within an agricultural reservoir on the Adam Bros. farm, the agency reports on its website. The federal government has advised that consumers not eat any romaine lettuce harvested from Monterey, San Benito or Santa Barbara counties as the FDA and CDC continue to investigate farms and cooling facilities in the region.
Illnesses related to the outbreak started on dates ranging from Oct. 8 to Nov. 16, the CDC reports. The romaine lettuce available at that time would have been from the Central Coast, which has since completed its romaine harvest.
Cauliflower harvested at Adam Bros. in late November was sent to wholesalers in Arizona, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, as well as Tijuana, Mexico, and Canada, according to the company's release. Red- and green-leaf lettuce was shipped to wholesalers in California, Colorado, Oregon, Texas, Pennsylvania, Washington and Canada; and red-leaf lettuce only was distributed to a wholesaler in Minnesota and Tijuana, Mexico. Specific carton and tag numbers are listed on the company's release.
On its website, Adam Bros. communicates a commitment to food safety, noting that the farm is certified as using Global Good Agricultural Practices, for which it faces audit verification by the USDA. The company notes that its product is controlled internally from nursery to shipping and that it has traceability.