Tripod Farmers recalls lettuce linked to Salmonella illnesses

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Tripod Farmers recall
Tripod Farmers recall

Related tags New south wales

Tripod Farmers has recalled pre-packed lettuce linked to an outbreak of Salmonella.

Tests of three products from two batches have tested positive for Salmonella anatum.

A total of 28 cases have been reported but it is unclear if all of these are linked to the salad.

Pillow bag, and 1kg punnets ranging from 50g–1kg with a use by up to and including 10/2/16–14/2/16 are affected. 

Link due to high number of cases

Dr Finn Romanes, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services senior medical advisor, said the links between the product and illness had been made because of a high number of cases of the Salmonella anatum strain.

"Normally we only see a handful of cases of this strain each year, but so far this year there have been 28 adult cases of Salmonella anatum - mostly adults - notified to the department,” ​he said.

"As a result of following up the food histories of a number of people we have discovered a common source - the Tripod Farmers lettuce.

"Tests of three products from two batches have also tested positive for Salmonella anatum bacterium.”

The department said there has been an inspection of the premises and a clean-up and will be ongoing testing and monitoring of all products from the company.

‘Shocked at test results’

Frank Ruffo, managing director of Tripod Famers Pty, said the company was working with health authorities in the interests of public safety.

We are shocked at the test results because we put public safety first and foremost and comply with all Australian health and safety standards,” ​he said.

“We will be doing everything within our power to determine how this has happened. We have commenced a thorough investigation and will work with health authorities to ensure we get to the bottom of this.”

Tripod Farmers is a family-owned business, founded in 1990, growing lettuce and leafy vegetables in Victorian farms, in Gippsland, Western Melbourne, and Mildura, with a processing facility in Bacchus Marsh. The company employs more than 400 people.

It supplies pre‐packaged leafy vegetable products to supermarkets and wholesale.

Distribution of the affected product (see full list here​) was in Coles and Bi-Lo supermarkets in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory. 

Woolworths stores in ACT, Vic and NSW and trade outlets in NSW, Queensland, Vic, SA, NT and ACT were also involved.

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