CPG Innovation Could Reduce Magnitude of Fruit Recall

The Wawona Packing Co., which supplies Costco, Trader Joe’s, Walmart and Kroger, recently recalled peaches, nectarines, plums and pluots (plum/apricot hybrids) due to Listeria contamination at its Cutler, California, warehouses between June 1 and July 12. They revised that recall on August 1st to include all fresh whole fruit packed at the company’s facility during those identified dates.

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that causes gastrointestinal symptoms, fever and muscle aches – and it can be deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States sees about 260 deaths from Listeria contamination every year. The worst single outbreak killed three-dozen people in 2011. Pregnant women, infants, older adults and people with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable.

Fortunately, this Listeria contamination was discovered during routine testing at Wawona’s warehouse and the facilities were shut down and sanitized before anyone reported becoming ill – but the recall is nationwide, recalling all fruit carrying a “SWEET 2 EAT” sticker.

IF the fruit had carried a product signature created by FASTech’s innovative PACKprint® system, however, the scope of this recall could have been precisely identified and limited to only those fruits that had been stored at the Cutler warehouses during the critical time period. Along with a host of other information, PACKprint® records the point of origin, lot number and warehouse location of every shipment, which greatly simplifies product tracing and minimizes the need for damage control.

The prevention of bacterial contamination is a constant challenge to everyone in the food supply chain. The ability to quickly and accurately identify compromised food products and speed up responsiveness is essential to public health and brand acceptance. FASTechnology’s PACKprint® quickly and reliably records product identification and tracking information at every stage of product processing, packaging and distribution. So when contaminations happen, PACKprint® saves time, money and public relations nightmares.

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