FDA announced a recall of grape tomatoes from Front Row Produce of St. Louis MO. The 10oz pint and 10lb bulk grape tomatoes supplied by Rio Queen Citrus, Mission TX, have been recalled because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.

Salmonella, is a bacterium which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

The recalled 10oz pint and 10lb bulk grape tomatoes were distributed throughout Missouri and Illinois to food service distributors and retail outlets.

The 10oz retail package is in a clear plastic container with Front Row Produce “Grape Tomatoes” label on the top of the package. Unfortunately, the lot number does not appear on the clear plastic packaging, however, it can be found on the case label. The lot numbers on the the 10-oz. packages are 2310802, 2310405, or 2510401. The 10lb bulk grape tomatoes are packaged for wholesale in a plain brown cardboard box labeled only with lot # 2310801.

To prevent confusion with new shipments, all Front Row Produce grape tomatoes shipped from 12.1.2011 will have a green lot number label affixed to the bottom side of each package. The new lot number will be a 7 digit number that identifies specific shipments. Any packages that are not marked with the new green lot number label, should be considered suspect and double checked.

Luckily, so far no illnesses have been reported in connection with this particular recall. The contamination was noticed after random testing by Rio Queen Citrus, Mission TX, showed salmonella in some 20lb wholesale containers.

Consumers who have purchased 10 ounce packages of Front Row Produce “Grape Tomatoes” or other customers who have purchased the 10-lb. bulk cases of grape tomatoes are urged to discard the product. Consumers with questions may contact Front Row Produce at (314) 241-4700, Monday- Friday from 7am-4pm, Saturday- Sunday from 7am-12pm.

Written by Rupert Shepherd