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September 24, 2013 at 3:27 PM
Whole Foods Market is advising shoppers who bought prepackaged, organic kale at its Roosevelt Square store in Seattle to discard the product because of a possible listeria contamination.
The prepackaged kale was sold in rectangular plastic containers with a Whole Foods Market label at the store located at 1026 NE 64th Street. The advisory is issued for kale with packed-on dates of Sept. 15 through Sept. 20.
A routine test of the kale conducted by the state Department of Agriculture came up positive for listeria contamination, said Public Health – Seattle & King County spokesman James Apa. Because the product is chopped and packaged at the store, samples of the kale before and after packaging and preparation surfaces are being tested to help determine where the product became contaminated, he said.
“When you buy a zucchini or tomato, no other processing is done at the store, so the likelihood that some kind of contaminant was introduced at the store is a lot lower,” said Apa. “Once results come back, then we hope to have a better understanding of what the sources of contamination could be.”
Apa said it can take days to get official results back but sometimes preliminary information can indicate possible contamination sooner.
Symptoms of listeria-bacterium poisoning include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Infections in young children or people with weak immune systems can sometimes be fatal. It can also cause miscarriages or stillbirths in pregnant women.
No one has reported illnesses related to the possible contamination, but the store has pulled the product from its shelves. Those who purchased the product can return it to the store for a refund.
June 26, 2013 at 9:36 PM
Officials have extended the public comment period for a proposed cleanup of minor radiological contamination at Magnuson Park, state Rep. Gerry Pollet announced Wednesday afternoon.
The U.S. Navy and state Department of Ecology will now take comments until July 26 and will hold a question-and-session session next month, Pollet wrote in a news release.
Pollet, D-Seattle, has been pushing for more scrutiny of the $9 million cleanup, which is in response to contamination discovered near the Arena Sports gym in 2009 but not disclosed to the publicly until recently.
Federal, state and local officials have said they did not warn the public because the contamination did not threaten the public as long as nobody entered a fenced-off area. Nonetheless, they’re planning to take care of the contamination for good later this year.
Pollet, however, thinks the officials’ plan would leave too much contamination in the soil.
“Extending the comments period and holding a proper public meeting is a promising development that allows more time for park users and local residents to get their questions answered and make their concerns known,” the second-term lawmaker said. “But the Navy, the Department of Ecology, and Seattle Parks must not stop there. The failure to provide a review for residents to consider of health impacts from the contamination which the Navy proposes to leave behind is just one of many shortcomings of this project that still need to be addressed.”
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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