• The recall was issued on May 4
  • Authorities eventually found the "contamination" was due to a lab error
  • The products are now considered "safe"

A recall issued earlier this month has now been canceled. It's been revealed that the supposed potential E. coli contamination was merely due to a laboratory error.

New Hampshire-based lēf Farms recalled a single lot of certain "Spice" Packaged Salad Greens on May 4. At the time, it said the problem was potential contamination with the E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) also issued an advisory urging affected customers not to consume the recalled products.

Now, the recall has been canceled after the lab results turned out to be a "false positive" due to a laboratory error.

"Subsequent whole genome sequencing was conducted, which determined that the control sample and the lēf Farms sample were nearly identical, indicating that the initial lab results were inaccurate due to a contamination error within the lab itself," the DHHS explained in its correction notice.

Authorities are now working to find out what caused the error and contamination. Moreover, the products that were previously recalled are now deemed as "safe."

Tricia Tilley, director of the Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), apologized to the company and its customers for the error. Tilley also commended lēf Farms for its "quick and decisive actions," calling the company "a willing partner in this process."

"While this situation is unprecedented, our dedicated staff will embrace all corrective actions to ensure it will not occur again," Tilley said.

Shawn Jasper, commissioner of the state Department of Agriculture Markets and Food, further added that an inspection of lēf Farms' facility and products revealed that it is actually performing at the "highest level of food safety and integrity."

With the cancellation of the recall, previously affected customers no longer need to dispose of the product. The products have also been returned to stores in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

"We are relieved to confirm that this was merely a lab mistake, and our product was never at risk. Customer health and safety remain our top priority," Steve Platt, CEO of BrightFarms, of which lēf Farms is a subsidiary, said in the announcement. "I'm immensely proud of our team's swift response and effective collaboration with FDA and state officials."

Those with questions may contact lēf Farms at 1-866-857-8745.

Pictured: Representative image of a salad. Pixabay