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Fresh is Best sources new onions, offers coupons to customers

Fresh is Best is now using a safe source of onions for its salsa and is offering a coupon for any customer who has had to throw away a salsa product that is on a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recall list.
On Aug. 7, the CFIA expanded…

Fresh is Best is now using a safe source of onions for its salsa and is offering a coupon for any customer who has had to throw away a salsa product that is on a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recall list. On Aug.

7, the CFIA expanded its U.S. onion recall to include seven varieties of salsa from Kamloops-based Fresh is Best Salsa & Co. The company immediately notified distributors and customers, discarded any potentially affected products and is now using a different source for onions.

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The CFIA said onions and various products made with onions grown by Thomson International Inc. of Bakersfield, Calif., are being recalled due to possible salmonella contamination.

"Our customers' health and safety is always our first concern," Fresh is Best co-owners Colin and Lisa McGaffin said. "We have an elaborate tracking system so we could immediately identify by batch numbers and best before dates which products might be affected." Consumers who have a Fresh is Best salsa product can click here to check the recall list. If the Fresh is Best salsa product has best before date of Oct.

6 or later, it is safe to consume. Fresh is Best traced the recalled onions to specific date codes for the following salsas: Mild Fresh, Medium Fresh, Hot Fresh, Extra Hot Fresh, Salsa Fresca, Savory Southwestern Black Bean and Corn and Tropical Fruit Salsa. All of these items are distributed in B.C., with the Savory, Medium and Mild products also available in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

While no illnesses have been linked to the salsas, any items on the CFIA's onion recall list should be discarded due to potential contamination with salmonella. "We source all of our produce through B.C. suppliers," Lisa Graham-McGaffin said. "In this particular situation, we needed more onions than our supplier had in stock, forcing us to use an alternate distributor. This is a standard process used to secure the high-quality, properly graded produce that we need to make our fresh salsa.

Our salsas each contain 12 fresh chopped herbs and vegetables, which makes it interesting at times to source with the short supply, limited growing season, as well as the inability to grow certain crops at all here in Canada. In this case, the onions that we received happened to be the ones that were recalled." "This has been such a difficult year for everyone," Colin McGaffin said. "Our customers have been so supportive because they know the pride and care we take in making our fresh products.

Our focus on freshness, quality and food safety will always be our top priority."

Fresh is Best Salsa & Co. was founded in 1999 it debuted salsas at the Kamloops Regional Farmers' Market.

Today, the company employs 38 staff at its operation and manufacturing facility in Kamloops.