Listeria source baffles Massachusetts' Chang Farm

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Published on 05/29/2009 04:59pm By Bob Luder


(UPDATED COVERAGE, MAY 29, 4:59 P.M.) Sidney Chang of Whatley, Mass.-based Chang Farm said his company followed all U.S. Food & Drug Administration guidelines leading up to the voluntary recall of about 15,000 pounds of bean and soy sprouts May 28.

The recall came about after a sample of product from Chang Farm tested positive for listeria monocytogenes at a New York retail store.

“(The FDA is) testing our facility now,” Chang said. “We followed FDA guidelines to test for salmonella and E. coli 0517:H7. We don’t test for listeria, because they don’t require that.

“Obviously, in the future, we’re going to test for everything.”

A spokesman for the FDA confirmed that it doesn’t require testing for listeria in sprouts.

The product Chang recalled is packaged in 10-pound bags and 12-ounce plastic bags, labeled under the Chang Farm Brand as soy sprouts with sell-by dates of May 23 or 24, and bean sprouts with the same use-by dates. The recalled product was distributed at retail and foodservice locations in the Northeast.

“The product is extremely perishable,” Chang said. “They would not be around today.”

Chang said his company had a full range of food safety systems in place, but that after FDA test results come back, the “whole plan will be examined,” he said.

“We want to make sure our facility is safe,” Chang said. “We’re going to add more measures. We thought we were doing the right things.”


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