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E. coli Fears Prompt Lettuce Recall

Bacteria Found in Irrigation Water; No Human Illness Reported
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WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 9, 2006 -- A California produce company has voluntarily recalled thousands of cartons of green leaf lettuce after discovering E. coli bacteria in irrigation water.

There have been no reports of human illness, The Nunes Company says. It is not yet known whether any of the lettuce actually became contaminated with E. coli.

The recall comes just a week after the FDA lifted its warning against eating spinach. Three deaths and about 200 cases of E. coli infection were linked to the spinach contamination.

The recalled lettuce was sold under the "Foxy" brand name. The recalled items carry the code 6SL0024 and were sold from Oct. 3 through Oct. 6.

The products were distributed in seven states: Arizona, California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. They were sold to retail stores and distributors who may have sold the lettuce to restaurants.

No other shippers or brands are included in the recall. Only the Nunes green leaf lettuce is affected by the recall.

In a news release, Nunes says the contamination was discovered in a "secondary water source" that tested positive for E. coli. No E. coli has been found on the lettuce itself; the recall is based only on water tests.

Anyone with questions may contact the company toll free at (800) 695-5012. Nunes is based in Salinas, Calif.

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