Bagged Lettuce Recalled Nationwide

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Tue, May 22 2012 at 6:38 PM, Updated: Tue, May 22 2012 at 7:54 PM

If you recently bought bagged lettuce and you're planning on pairing a salad with dinner tonight, you might want to listen up.

Ken Bendat said he's glad he shops at the local farmers market.

"It's a good place to get lettuce," said Bendat.

Especially after hearing about River Ranch Fresh Foods' nationwide recall.

The company says their bagged lettuce with "best by" dates between May 12th and 29th is potentially contaminated with Listeria.

"I got a call  from my supplier and he told us to pull it...figure 100-125 bags we threw away," said Ray Nouguier, Produce Manager at Sherms Food-4-Less.

Contamination can occur if produce comes in contact with manure.

At the Rogue Valley Farmers Market in Ashland, farmers say there is a difference when you buy locally grown lettuce.

"When you're dealing with those monster companies, there's so many people in between, you never know what going to happen...I mean I cut that lettuce, I packed it...so i'm intimately familiar with it," said farmer Kenny Kapler.

He said while there's no absolute guarantee any produce is without contaminants, he said the difference is the pride smaller companies take in their work.

"Anytime you get larger scale, you get people who don't love what they're doing they're just doing it for a paycheck...you can't pay somebody enough to make them care," said Kapler.

Meantime, shopper Ken Bendat says he'll continue shopping local.

"There's a lot less possibility for it to be contaminated. It's good and fresh and it's safe for my kids," said Bendat.

However, there are many ways to ensure your produce is okay. Watch for recalls, and wash it before you eat it.

So far, there have been no reported illnesses associated with the recall.

River Ranch also distributes lettuce to brands including: Farm Stand, Hy-Vee, Marketside, Shurfresh and The Farmers Market.

Listeria symptoms include high fever, headache and neck stiffness.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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