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'Fresh Selections' Italian Style salad from Kroger recalled

Friday, March 14, 2014 - 6:25 pm

A national recall of salad includes a Kroger brand sold in Indiana, but information gleaned from the store’s reward cards make contacting affected consumers easier.

The recall includes “Fresh Selections” brand Italian Style Blend salads with a sell-by date of March 12 and the universal product code of 00011111091045.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said this week that no illnesses have been reported in association with the recall. This precautionary recall notification is being issued due to one sample of Dole Italian salad which yielded a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes in a random sample test conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, according to the FDA. Dole produced the salad under contract to Kroger, said Kroger spokesman John Elliott on Friday.

He said that in a Class I recall such as this, store employees immediately pull any remaining stock off store shelves. In addition, emails or automated phone messages were used to contact every Kroger customer recorded as purchasing a bag of the salad.

There’s an additional level of notification. When a customer who purchased a salad next buys something at Kroger -- again, while using the rewards card -- an alert about the recall will be printed on the customer’s receipt. Typically a cashier would notice the alert and point it out to the customer, Elliott said.

These recall alerts keyed to the rewards cards have been part of how Kroger spreads the word on recalls for several years, Elliott said.

Elliott said that about 98 percent of customer transactions include the cards provided by Kroger to track purchases, provide special sale incentives and target special offers. Elliott said he does not know how many bags of the recalled salad had been sold.

The FDA said Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause foodborne illness in a person who eats a food item contaminated with it. Symptoms of infection may include fever, muscle aches, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. The illness primarily affects pregnant women and adults with weakened immune systems, the regulatory agency said. Most healthy adults and children rarely become seriously ill.