Walmart And Kroger Pull Cilantro From Stores

Image courtesy of (Renee Rendler-Kaplan)

After the Food and Drug Administration announced a seasonal ban on cilantro imports from the Puebla state of Mexico, Walmart and Kroger are pulling cilantro grown in that region from store shelves as a precaution. Evidence points to the cilantro as a culprit in outbreaks of cyclosporiasis, a gastrointestinal illness, and an FDA investigation turned up evidence of sanitation problems in the fields where cilantro is grown.

A Walmart representative explained to Bloomberg News that stores already had cilantro from that region of Mexico, but not necessarily from the affected supplier, on its shelves. “In an abundance of caution, we decided to withdraw and prohibit sourcing any cilantro from this region,” a chain representative said in a statement.

Don’t worry: neither chain anticipates a nationwide cilantro shortage crisis as a result of this recall or the import ban. Other grocery chains told Bloomberg News that they know their cilantro doesn’t come from the affected region, so the FDA’s partial ban doesn’t affect their products.

Cyclosporiasis is a parasitic illness that can be transmitted through human feces; it can cause vomiting and “explosive bowel movements.” Inspectors found evidence of poor sanitation and human feces and toilet paper in cilantro fields, as well as poor sanitation in processing facilities.

Wal-Mart, Kroger Pulling Some Cilantro Over Human-Feces Concerns [Bloomberg]