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Possible bacteria contamination prompts food recall by Amy’s Kitchen

Petaluma-based Amy’s Kitchen has voluntarily recalled nearly 74,000 cases of multiple food products because the spinach in the frozen dishes may contain the harmful bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

The recall covers 19 different food items, including 10 lasagnas, three tofu scrambles, two enchilada verde dishes, two brown rice and vegetable bowls, a stuffed pasta shell bowl and a spinach pizza.

The recalled products went to stores nationwide in the United States and Canada, Amy’s said in a press release issued Sunday.

The food maker said Monday it issued the recall after frozen-vegetable processor Coastal Green Vegetable Co. of Oxnard sent out its own recall notice warning that Amy’s may have received spinach containing listeria.

Both Coastal Green and Amy’s said they have yet to hear of any illnesses linked to the suspect spinach.

Coastal Green spokesman Paul Fanelli said his company is cooperating with the Food and Drug Administration in the voluntary recall. Coastal Green has contacted “all the companies” who might have received the suspect spinach, he said. He declined to release the number of affected businesses.

Amy’s Kitchen, founded in 1988, is one of Sonoma County’s largest locally based businesses, with sales on track this year to reach an estimated $500 million.

The company has become one of the nation’s top brands of natural and organic convenience foods, with its all-vegetarian offerings including frozen meals, soups, breakfast foods and desserts. Amy’s ranked fifth with $213 million in sales for ?single-serve frozen dinner entrees during the 52-week period ending Jan. 25, according to Chicago-based market research firm IRI.

Listeria “can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems,” according to the press release from Amy’s.

The potentially affected products were made between January and March. A complete list of the recalled items and their manufacture dates can be found in a document posted on the company’s website: http://bit.ly/1LOjYZ2. Consumers are urged to dispose of the items or return them to retailers for a full refund.

You can reach Staff Writer Robert Digitale at 521-5285 or robert.digitale@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @rdigit.

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