(UPDATED COVERAGE, July 23) Tanimura & Antle Inc.’s live code traceback system helped the company quickly locate details on a potentially contaminated lot of romaine lettuce, said Rick Antle, chief executive officer.

“We have discreet lot codes and we can trace everything back to the lot on a carton basis,” Antle said July 23, three days after the Salinas, Calif.-based company recalled the lot of romaine after a random Wisconsin Department of Agriculture test found salmonella contamination.

The company recalled the lettuce, which had been distributed to 29 states, Canada and Puerto Rico, on July 20.

The traceback was swift because of the Tanimura & Antle’s food safety program, Antle said, and the company is actively involved with the industry on its traceback initiatives. Antle said the shipper grows its products following the food safety protocols in the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement.

Antle said once the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture contacted Tanimura & Antle on July 20 with results of the positive test, the company was able to locate records showing when and were the lot of romaine was harvested June 25 through July 2.

A contract grower produced the romaine, Antle said, and Tanimura & Antle has received no reports of illness.

The cartons of bulk and wrapped lettuce have the lot code 531380, and it was sent to retail, foodservice and wholesale customers. The recalled product was beyond its 14-16 day shelf life.

UPDATED: Traceback system speeds romaine recall