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October 22, 2010: Listeria Suspected in Chopped Celery Recall

The Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) has ordered Sangar Fresh Cut Produce in San Antonio, Texas to stop its operations and implement a recall of its chopped celery.

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This order comes after lab tests indicated that Listeria monocytogenes was present on food samples. An investigation has been ongoing after 10 listeriosis cases were reported over the past eight months. 

Five of those cases resulted in death, although all had underlying serious health issues. The TDSHS stated that they believe the contamination occurred due to sanitation issues.  The problem may be connected with a condensation leak above a food product area. 

It is believed, according to the TDSHS, that the recalled products – primarily cut fresh produce in sealed packages – were distributed to restaurants and institutional entities, such as hospitals and schools, and are not believed to be sold in grocery stores. 

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