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RECALL: Spinach Tests Positive For Salmonella

WASHINGTON (AP) - A California produce company recalled bagged fresh spinach Wednesday after it tested positive for salmonella.

There were no immediate reports of illness linked to the tainted spinach, distributed by Metz Fresh LLC of King City, Calif. The recall comes nearly a year after an outbreak of another pathogen, E. coli, in fresh spinach killed three people and sickened another 200.

The recalled spinach was distributed throughout the 48 states and Canada and sold in both retail and food service packages. It covers 8,118 cases of spinach, although the company said more than 90 percent of that was on hold and would not be released.

While only a single sample from one of three packing lines tested positive for salmonella, the company said it moved to recall all the spinach packed that same day as a precaution.

The recall covers 10- and 16-ounce bags, as well as 4-pound cartons and cartons that contain four 2.5-pound bags, with the following tracking codes: 12208114, 12208214 and 12208314.

Consumers with questions can contact Metz Fresh at 831-386-1018.

Last year's E. coli outbreak prompted the Food and Drug Administration to warn Americans not to eat fresh bagged spinach. It later lifted that warning after tracing the contamination to spinach processed and packed by Natural Selection Foods LLC in San Juan Bautista, Calif.

The incident prompted stricter monitoring procedures by growers and processors and stepped-up inspections by California health officials.

Salmonella sickens about 40,000 people a year in the U.S. and kills about 600. It can cause diarrhea, fever, dehydration, abdominal pain and vomiting. Most cases of salmonella poisoning are caused by undercooked eggs and chicken.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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