“Los Angeles” brand carrots from Mexico sold in Quebec make me sick

I subscribe to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency food warning, recall, and allergy email notification service. This means that I receive an email every time any food produced, processed, or sold in Canada gets flagged as a possible danger and requires a warning. I receive warnings every single day, which is sort of scary.

The latest warning involves Los Angeles Salad Company baby carrots that are actually from Mexico, but are sold in Costco stores in Canada, as far away as Quebec, which is where I live. They may contain shigella, which is not easily detectable and can cause bloody diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

Mexico is over 5000 kilometers from Quebec, which is over 3100 miles.

Now I am certain that the great state of California grows carrots, so they don’t actually need to grow them in Mexico. I’m sure that is completely irrelevant because there is a decent probability that the Los Angeles Salad Company doesn’t even sell carrots in Los Angeles, and there is probably a larger probability that the owner or owners of the Los Angeles Salad Company don’t actually live in the city of Los Angeles, or even the state of California. In fact, the Los Angeles Salad Company is not located in Los Angeles but in a city called "City of industry". That sort of scares me, and it should scare you.

Carrots definitely do not need to be grown in Mexico and then sent to Quebec, where carrots are currently in season. I ate a carrot yesterday that was grown in Quebec. It was delicious. Carrots grown in Quebec can be stored and used almost year round.

I wonder what the owners of the Los Angeles Salad Company eat. Their website doesn’t really have any useful information on it. Do they eat their own food? If they have any brains, they do not. They probably just sell it to people who have been conditioned by very talented marketing and branding executives to buy large quantities of food at very low prices regardless of what the consequences are to the land, the people who make the products, or even their own health.

Sorry for the rant. I think ALL food recalls should be printed on the front pages of every newspaper and broadcast on every television newscast at the expense of the owners of the companies that make these foods.

I think I should go to my community garden plot to do some contemplative weeding…


11 Responsesto ““Los Angeles” brand carrots from Mexico sold in Quebec make me sick”

  1. V Smoothe says:

    The City of Industry is part of LA.

  2. More accurately, City of Industry’s a city in LA County — a city shouldn’t be feared on account of its industrious name alone –

    That’s not to say the Qs you raised aren’t valid. I’m not familiar with this LA Salad Company, as I get my produce from the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market.

  3. Spring says:

    Oh, gosh, I have had shigellosis and it was the worst experience of my life. I pity anyone who contracts it. I truly thought I would die and it took weeks to recover. I can’t express how terrible it was.

    I’m pretty sure mine came from bagged salad mix I ate at a restaurant.

    I know washing can be absolutely ineffective, but everyone needs to remember to wash all this supposedly ready to eat produce. Also, once stuff is cut up it’s going to break down and grow bacteria more quickly. I have lots more faith in a big carrot that hasn’t been chiseled down or whole leaf lettuce.

  4. sam says:

    True, a city should not be feared solely on account of its name, but as any denizen of SoCal knows, the City of Industry has so many other reasons to fear it…

  5. So much food (and other product such as, erm, toys) are being recalled that it is scary. It would be nice if we all got personalized messages, or at the very least, if it was, as you suggested, printed on the front page of every paper and so on, but, alas, that isn’t going to happen. But being aware and trying to make smart choices is the right route, and you are taking it. What is the quote … “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”


  6. Ed says:

    Hooray for rants. Makes me feel better reading someone else’s rant b/c I tend to do the same.

    I live in Quebec also and anywhere you have FRESH fruit and vegetables being sold from local markets you would have to be mad to buy anything else. The costco mega-block shopping phenomenon takes away a lot of the pride in purchasing quality food, in my opinion.

    Cheers for the rant. :D

  7. Peter aka Nosher of the North says:

    Thank you all for the comments.
    I have since calmed down…slightly…mostly because I spent about 3 hours in my garden weeding and harvesting. When I got home I made a big batch of gazpacho, a potato-kale-cheese bake and some other good stuff.

  8. JC Costello aka Man of La Muncha says:

    This reminds me of olive oil labeled as “local” at one of our stores. Examining the bottle, I found that the olives were grown in California and bottled in Canada for sale in Washington. I guess being bottled in Canada (B.C.?) made them local enough.

  9. This is partially your fault. Yes, yours.

    Where did you buy the carrots? Costco – exacty. THAT was your mistake.

    Large block stores are killing the small local farmers.

    It is almost impossible to sell my herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil), because everyone is used to pre-packaged, sanitized, bleached, formulated, enriched, cleaned, and machine processed.

    Oh – wait. One more thing reason “want it now” speed. The instant gratification requirement.

    So, you killed the local corner farmer, and brought shigellosis to our local grocery store…

    Ok :D Maybe a bit harsh (a lot harsh?), but hopefully you get my point. It starts in our own back yard. I try to get local grown as much as possible, but unfortunately it is not always possible. Local fruit, for example, is hard to come by in my region.

  10. Shigellosis? Back when I toiled as a childcare worker, that was the dread disease caused by lack of hand-washing after diaper changing…ewww…

    Bagged lettuce makes me gag. Reading about Earthbound Farms in the Omnivore’s Dilemma, and their rotating business in Arizona (of all places!) makes my blood boil.

    Furthermore, I think baby carrots look like little Oompa Loompa fingers and prefer to buy regular long carrots, which my 4-year-old calls “super carrots” and enjoys helping me peel. Whatever happened to peeling your own carrots? Are we really that busy?

    Love the blog! Keep up the rants!

  11. Luiggi says:

    You’ll be impressed by the times food recalled is DOMESTIC grown. On the other hand, carrots can easily be contaminated at the processing / bagging plant, not necesarily at origin.

    Anyway, better be careful for what you eat is cooked or well well washed.