(Sept. 17) The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Ottawa, issued a nationwide recall of Dole Hearts Delight bagged lettuce on Sept. 16 after a routine inspection discovered E. coli O157:H7, two days after the one-year anniversary of a similar recall of Dole-brand bag of spinach in the U.S.

Rene Cardinal, acting national manager for the fruits and vegetable program of CFIA, said a single bag of the Dole salad blend of romaine, green leaf and butter lettuce hearts from a Loblaw’s supermarket tested positive for the pathogen.

“We are talking with Dole to try to determine how wide the distribution is in Canada,” he said on Sept. 17. “The product was tested a week ago and it took five days to get the results back. We announced a nationwide recall September 16.”

Cardinal said the agency is working with Dole, Monterey, Calif., to monitor the removal of the product from store shelves and the effectiveness of the recall. As of Sept. 17, there were no illnesses linked to the lettuce.

The implicated product lot bears the UPC code 0 71430 01038 9 with a “best if used date” of Sept. 19, and a lot code of A24924B.

Calif. Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, called A. G. Kawamura, agriculture secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture about the recall.

“I am very concerned that any produce subject to the leafy greens marketing agreement could make it not only to store shelves but into a foreign nation’s distribution system before contamination was found,” Florez said in a Sept. 17 statement. “If this is California produce, we will expect to see that an effective traceback was in place to allow us to determine exactly what happened and who is responsible, as promised in the (California Leafy Green Products Marketing Agreement). I’m sure the public is as interested as I am in seeing what type of penalties will be applied under the marketing agreement to effect real change in industry behavior.”