• Here’s What’s in Sea­son for Spring! !


Gen­eral Pro­duce is a third gen­er­a­tion, locally owned and oper­ated fresh pro­duce com­pany located in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia. We dis­trib­ute and export fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles — local, organic, sus­tain­able, regional and glob­ally sourced. Get to Know Us!

Its easy to ignore “The sky is falling” warn­ings when they are incon­clu­sive. The clas­sic folk tale of Henny Penny (Chicken Lit­tle) bares rec­ol­lec­tion when food safety is at stake.

The most recent indus­try mes­sages regard­ing romaine let­tuce alerts have been frus­trat­ing for every­one in the sup­ply chain.

In defense of all stake­hold­ers, no one wants to err on the side of per­sonal ill­ness or worse case sce­nario, death.

As com­pa­nies wait for more infor­ma­tion from fed­eral agen­cies on the E. coli O157:H7 out­break that has been ascribed to chopped romaine only and not a spe­cific sup­plier, fresh pro­duce indus­try asso­ci­a­tions are com­mu­ni­cat­ing in a uni­form voice about the sit­u­a­tion.

United Fresh Pro­duce Asso­ci­a­tion, Pro­duce Mar­ket­ing Asso­ci­a­tion, Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion and the Leafy Greens Mar­ket­ing Agree­ment have worked in con­cert on com­mu­ni­ca­tions regard­ing this recent outbreak.

Here are some impor­tant ques­tions and answers:

Why did the CDC and FDA issue an alert before deter­min­ing the spe­cific source of the E.coli ill­nesses?

The agen­cies informed pro­duce groups about the alerts shortly before post­ing them, and lis­tened to indus­try con­cerns about a broad warn­ing rather than a tar­geted one. Both the CDC and FDA believed they had to act on the infor­ma­tion avail­able. Their noted con­cern was the high num­ber of ill­nesses in a short time frame (the most they have seen in a long time) and the sever­ity of ill­ness. There were a num­ber of indi­vid­u­als hos­pi­tal­ized and a con­cern that prod­uct could still be in the sup­ply chain.

They did not want to risk peo­ple con­tin­u­ing to eat affected prod­uct and becom­ing severely ill while the inves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ued. E. Coli ill­ness can be dev­as­tat­ing. They acted in what they deter­mined was in the best inter­est of pub­lic health.

The CDC and FDA empha­sized that only chopped romaine from the Yuma, Ari­zona grow­ing region is sus­pected in the out­break. Whole head romaine and romaine hearts have not been impli­cated. Nor is any romaine from other grow­ing regions. Most grow­ers had already tran­si­tioned to the Sali­nas grow­ing areas.

Why has the word “recall” been used, even though a spe­cific source of the out­break has not been announced?

In the wake of the CDC alert, some sup­pli­ers — and sub­se­quently retail­ers — vol­un­tar­ily with­drew prod­uct from the mar­ket­place. Their spe­cific prod­uct has not been con­nected to the out­break. In some cases, these actions have been described by those com­pa­nies as recalls. A for­mal recall has not been issued.

At this post­ing, the pro­duce indus­try is ask­ing mem­bers of the sup­ply chain to refrain from using the term “recall”. Con­sumers instead have received a prod­uct advi­sory or warn­ing. Any romaine prod­uct in ques­tion has not been defin­i­tively linked to ill­nesses. No spe­cific grow­ers, farms, lots, proces­sors, brands or ship­pers have been iden­ti­fied. Henny Penny is still look­ing for answers.

To read the full Mar­ket Report, includ­ing this week’s mar­ket update, see below or click here.

Market Report page 1

Market Report page 2

Market Report page 3

Market Report page 4


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