The long and winding road of frozen spinach in organic, industrially-produced food

It started on Sunday, when Amy’s Kitchen, of Petaluma, Calif., issued a voluntary recall of nearly 74,000 cases of products that may include frozen spinach potentially tainted with Listeria, such as include frozen vegetable lasagna, brown rice and vegetable bowls, and stuffed pasta shell bowls. The products were distributed nationwide in the U.S. and Canada.

spongebob.oil.colbert.may3.10Next up was Wegman’s Food Markets, an East Coast grocery chain, that on Monday issued a voluntary recall for about 12,500 packages of organic frozen spinach and said the spinach was supplied by Twin City Foods, of Stanwood, Washington.

A person who answered the phone at Twin City Foods on Monday told JoNel Aleccia of The Seattle Times it wasn’t clear that the company had supplied frozen spinach to Amy’s Kitchen. She said Twin Cities could not say what volume of product might have been contaminated with listeria and that owners were not prepared to make a statement. She declined further comment.

On Tuesday, Twin City Foods announced a recall of a bunch of products containing frozen spinach, that was used in a whole bunch of frozen products. Hence the rolling recalls.

Noteworthy: “The Recalled Product was supplied to Twin City Foods by Coastal Green Vegetable Company LLC of Oxnard, CA which initiated a recall of the bulk spinach on March 20, 2015 due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Twin City Foods immediately notified all affected customers and initiated recalls of the retail packages on March 20, 2015.”

Cadia-frozen-spinach-labelCoastal Green spokesman Paul Fanelli said his company is cooperating with the Food and Drug Administration in the voluntary recall. Coastal Green has contacted “all the companies” who might have received the suspect spinach, he said. He declined to release the number of affected businesses.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

What is known about Coastal Green? Not much.

But their website says it got a superior rating by AIB (American Institute of Baking).


That’s a red flag.

Where was the spinach grown? Probably California. Where’s the Leafy Greens Marketing Association on this one?

Probably under the leafy greens cone of silence.

Did the Listeria contamination happen in the plant or in the field?

Who knows.

No one is confirmed sick – yet – so people will soon go on with their business and LGMA will continue to blow itself instead of taking on more substantive issues.

Market microbial food safety, not adjectives.