The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals is advising all restaurants in the state to remove fresh spinach or salad mixtures containing fresh spinach from their salad bars following an advisory from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning consumers to avoid all fresh spinach products.
A California-based company that packages fresh spinach for Iowa’s largest grocery store chain announced Sunday it’s joining the nationwide recall. Donna Tweeten, spokeswoman for West Des Moines-based HyVee, says the F-D-A has linked Earthbound Farms to the problems with e-coli illnesses.
Tweeten says Earthbound Farms co-packs HyVee’s Private Label Spring Mix. She says HyVee pulled all spinach products from its shelves on Friday as a precaution, all shipments have been suspended and all spinach in the HyVee warehouses was destroyed. More than 100 cases of e-coli poisoning linked to spinach are reported in 19 states, including at least one death, though no illnesses are reported in Iowa.
Tweeten offers some advice for Iowans who have bagged spinach in their refrigerators.She says to bring the product back to the store for a full refund with no questions asked, along with any products that contain spinach. Since the chain has canceled all shipments of spinach, Tweeten couldn’t say how long it might be before its Iowa customers will get to eat that fresh leafy vegetable again.
Suppliers are reviewing their process and she says spinach products will not be put on the shelves until they’re sure of the product’s safety. HyVee has more than 200 stores in seven Midwestern states, including more than 100 in Iowa. For more information about the recall, surf to: “www.fda.gov”.