• Mon, Sep 3 2012

That Mango Recall Is Now Impacting Your Starbucks Fruit Cup

mango recall Starbucks fruitLast week, I wrote about the mango recall that was prompting grocers to pull the juicy fruit from their shelves. Concerned about a the potential for a large-scale Salmonella outbreak, vendors of Daniella brand mangoes spent the weekend slowly removing the produce. But it doesn’t stop with fresh, whole fruit. Out of “an abundance of caution,” at least one producer of pre-cut fruit medleys which contain the mangoes in question has joined the recall. Which explains why, if you tried to get a fruit cup from Starbucks over the weekend, you may not have been able.

The mango recall, which became big news in the middle of last week, has already sickened over 100 people across 16 states. And while no deaths have been reported yet, Salmonella can be potentially fatal, especially for the elderly and children.

Starbucks is just one of many vendors who sell pre-cut, packaged fruit medleys from Ready Pac foods, who have announced that all of their mango-containing fruit cups are voluntarily being recalled. The FDA made it clear in their press release that no diseases have been linked to Ready Pac’s produce, and that the company is volunteering to be part of the recall out of concern for consumers.

Other producers of cut fruit are also jumping on board. Taylor Farms New Jersey has added their fruit medleys to the list, as have Real Foods of Kent, WA, and Charlie’s of Anchorage, AK. This cut fruit is being sold at Walmart, Costco, Wawa, and other major grocers. At least 48 states (and Canada) are impacted.

Unfortunately, plenty of vendors aren’t moving as swiftly as consumer watchdogs might like. According to Food Safety News, who called the recall “sloppy” and “slow,” the potentially tainted mangoes remained on store shelves days after the producer of the fruit called for the recall. Additionally, because the recall has been reliant on one manufacturer at a time,  information is only slowly trickling down to grocers and other fruit-sellers, who may not be aware of the extent of Daniella’s reach. These mangoes, it seems, are in everything.

And, says the CDC, they may still not even be the ones that are making people sick. The sluggish testing procedure hasn’t produced conclusive results.

Your best bet as a consumer? Avoid store-bought, imported mangoes until this is all over. If you can get them from a farmer’s market or an otherwise locally-grown vendor, you’re probably in the clear. But avoid any and all pre-cut fruit cups (like those Starbucks ones) until the FDA and CDC have given the all-clear.

There’s a chance that plenty of Ready Pac and other fruit cups are perfectly safe–but there’s also a chance that there is tainted fruit cups and whole fruits which may not have been pulled yet. Instead of hoping that your grocer has gotten it together and gotten the bad fruit off the shelves, it’s smart to avoid the sweet fruit for the time being.

Image via Starbucks, whose Seasonal Harvest Blend has been recalled.

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