FMOW on the Listeria and Salmonella Outbreak

Hello FMOW Community!

We wanted to address the current news surrounding the recent recalls on several types of produce. If you haven't heard yet: lemons, limes, oranges, and red potatoes have been recalled by a nationwide mass distributor due to a listeria outbreak. Red and yellow onions from Ralphs and Trader Joe’s have also been recalled, but for salmonella.

Some of our FMOW community members have reached out to us to ask if our products have been affected and if we are also recalling these items. Rest assured, our products are safe and sound.

To explain, FMOW works exclusively with small, independent farms only in California (a large majority based in the Bay Area). The outbreak of Listeria and salmonella stems from mass distributors who receive their produce from large corporate farms across the nation. According to a media release, recalled produce due to Listeria was shipped to distribution centers in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and wholesalers in Maryland and North Carolina. For the red and yellow onions, sources say they were received from Thomson International, a Bakersfield company (keyword “company” not farm).

The issue with these “Big Ag” distributors is that they work with large farms that don't have the closest eye on their production because of their size and reliance on conveyor-belt procedures. Then, many products become contaminated in these large holding warehouses, before being transported in mass bulks, leading to even more contamination.

But don’t worry! Our local FMOW farms work within their own property and deliver their produce straight from the ground into the carrier service that brings it to your house. Our farm coordinator Judy Calvillo can attest to this. She works for Brothers Farm and oversees all packing and shipments for all orders. Our produce is packed the day before and day of delivery under Judy’s watchful eye. We have no intermediary warehouse or mass storage, and our farms have not been in contact with any farms outside of themselves.

That is the benefit of small, independent farmers. While our country relies on mass production for produce — especially with grocery stores sourcing from mass production the most — we believe that small farms must be supported even more. They bring reliable, fresh produce that customers can trust come straight from nature without chemicals, preservatives, and cold storage. And, of course, no bacterial contamination.

If you would like any more information from us on our process, feel free to email carla@fmow.org or send us a message through social media. Thank you for your concerns and we hope you all stay safe!

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