Local grocery stores are pulling raw grape tomatoes off shelves.
A local tomato grower voluntarily recalled a single lot of its grape tomatoes because they might be contaminated with salmonella.
The strain of salmonella in tomatoes distributed by Six L’s Packing Company Inc. has not been determined and no illnesses has been reported in connection to the recall as of April 29, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter posted on its website.
As soon as Walmart learned about the voluntarily recall, they immediately pulled any affected tomatoes from their shelves in Collier County. Four Walmarts in the county were affected by the recall. Sam’s Club in North Naples was not, Walmart officials said.
In addition, Walmart instituted a register block to prevent sale of items in the recall. Consumers who have purchased the specific lot of grape tomatoes are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a refund.
The Walmart stores that were affected in Collier County are the following: at 9885 Collier Blvd., at 5420 Juliet Blvd., at 6650 Collier Blvd. and at 5010 Airport-Pulling Road N.
The specific lot was packed on April 11 that can be identified by Cherry Berry lot code DW-H in either in clam shells or 20-pound cardboard containers. The tomatoes were distributed to North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Georgia and Canada.
Six L’s officials could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
The contamination was detected through a random sample obtained by the USDA at a distributor in New York, according to the FDA warning letter.
The recall doesn’t include any other tomatoes or produce distributed by Six L’s.
At Naples Tomato, all tomatoes were thrown away when they heard about the voluntary recall last week.
Naples Tomato doesn’t purchase its tomatoes from Six L’s, however, they did buy tomatoes from a local produce company in Immokalee. Since the voluntary recall, Naples Tomato, has switched to buying tomatoes from Fresh Point, a commercial produce company in Fort Myers, said Chef Bryan Sutton.
For the next couple of weeks, Naples Tomato plans to purchase tomatoes in clam shells, which are boxed in plastic containers.
Although these tomatoes are more expensive because they are packaged, Sutton said, it’s worth it so that customers don’t get sick.
Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
Consumers with questions may contact Six L’s at (877) 606-1821, ext. 3955.
Connect with Tracy X. Miguel at www.naplesnews.com/staff/tracy_x_miguel/