Two foods—organic baby spinach and yeast—are being recalled after safety regulators found the presence of Salmonella, which can cause deadly illness among the young, old and people with weakened immune systems.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, the recalled organic baby spinach from Taylor Farms in Salinas, Calif., was distributed in 16 states from May 9 through 10. No illnesses have been reported from the Salmonella-tainted baby spinach, says the federal safety agency.
Salmonella contaminated Tempeh Starter Yeast and Super Starter Yeast imported from Indonesia was discovered by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said the FDA. Distributed nationwide and internationally by IndonesianFoodMart.com in Rockville, Md., the FDA believe the recalled yeast may be tied to "several illnesses [that] have been reported to date."
FSMA, which includes requirements for the FDA to inspect foreign facilities, has been supported by the food industry and consumer safety groups—including Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports.
But according to Jean Halloran, director of CU's Food and Product Safety Campaign, the U.S. law has stalled in the Office of Management and Budget, which must authorise publishing the regulations in the Federal Register for pubic comment before FSMA can be implemented. And while the OMB review process was to take no more than three months since since it began in December 2011, OMB has yet to move on FSMA.
"We believe [FSMA] would go a long way towards preventing bacterial contamination outbreaks like the one just announced in spinach," said Halloran. "This [safety recall] is a warning that the FSMA regulations are very much still needed, and shouldn't continue to sit behind OMB's closed doors."
If you're concerned about the safety of your food, check out Consumers Union's Not In My Food website, www.notinmyfood.org, for more information.