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State Officials Warn of Possible Tainted Potatoes

Friday, April 20, 2012 | 11:36am

- Missing Product Dumped, Possibly Distributed in Some Nashville Neighborhoods -

NASHVILLE – A truck load of potatoes destined for a landfill after being exposed to smoke and fire retardant was discovered missing and possibly distributed to unsuspecting area residents. The load was involved in a vehicle mishap on I-24 earlier this week.

As a precaution, state Agriculture and Health officials are asking people in Nashville and surrounding areas to not accept or consume potatoes that were not purchased from a reputable source or retail outlet. There have been reports of residents in some North Nashville neighborhoods receiving “free” potatoes. The product should be destroyed.

The product is labeled as Dole brand Russet potatoes and packaged in 10-pound poly bags. Although the health risks are low, the product should not be consumed.

The shipment of about 42,000 pounds of potatoes was headed for distribution to a major retail chain when it was involved in a mishap early Wednesday morning at mile marker 36 on I-24 near Joelton. State Agriculture food safety officials condemned the product, which had been exposed to fire, smoke, fire retardant and possibly other materials.The damaged trailer was being held at a local towing business for transport to a landfill when the product marked condemned was discovered missing.

The potatoes were reportedly dumped on a private lot, but state officials have been unable to account for the product. Reports surfaced today from area residents who may have received some of the contaminated produce.

Health officials recommend anyone who may have consumed this product and is experiencing illness should seek medical attention.

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