Parsley Recall Over E. coli Raises Alarms in Supermarkets

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A sweeping recall for a brand of parsley sold in some U.S. supermarkets has people once again returning produce to their grocery stores out of concern about potential E. coli contamination. Read on for more information regarding the latest E. coli recall and how it could affect you.

The Recall

The recall itself has been issued by Buurma Farms Inc., a company based out of Willard, Ohio. The recall covers Buurma’s plain, flat-leafed parsley product. Specifically, plants with a harvest date listed as August 30 are covered under this recall.

The recall was prompted when random testing of the company’s products revealed that some parsley in the August 30 batch contained E. coli bacteria, specifically a sub-variety of E. coli that can produce Shiga toxins.

The Food and Drug Administration, the primary government agency that oversees food recalls, posted the company’s statement regarding the recall on their website. The notice reads “A random, routine regulatory sample collected on Sept. 7 at a customer’s distribution center by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development tested positive for non-O157 STEC (Shiga-toxin producing E. coli) and reported Sept. 13.”

What are Shiga Toxins?

Shiga toxins are the toxins created by harmful E. coli strains that cause illness in humans. Normally, E. coli by itself is actually pretty harmless in the human body. In fact, the odds are good that your intestinal tract is full of E. coli at this very moment! The majority of gut flora in the body is comprised of E. coli bacteria.

However, some strains of E. coli are capable of producing Shiga toxins. These toxins can cause illness in humans, with symptoms that can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, headache, and malaise.

What Should You Do?

If you have purchased any Buurma Farms parsley with a harvest date of August 30, make sure you don’t consume any of it. Return it to the store you bought it from, along with your receipt, to receive a full refund for the product. If you can’t find your receipt, simply discard the parsley and don’t risk eating it.

E. coli infections aren’t fun for anyone, and they can be particularly dangerous in young children, older people, and people who have weakened immune systems. It’s important to stay vigilant about E. coli recall notices on greens and herbs, as these food products are often consumed uncooked, meaning that harmful bacteria aren’t always eliminated from these products.