5/12/2011 Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

The 2006 outbreak linked with Taco Bell was traced to "Ready Pac" produce distributing in Southern California. It claimed the tainted lettuce came from "Tanimura & Antle" in Huron.

Tanimura & Antle says its facilities were inspected and cleared of e-coli contamination. They've filed a lawsuit to have their name removed from lawsuits connected to "Ready Pac".

"Ready Pac" representatives didn't return our calls for comment.

Tanimura and Antle's CEO, Rick Antle didn't say much more. He told Action News by phone that "this is a contractual dispute, not a food safety issue."

Rice planting season is underway as demand is growing.

Government forecasters predict California farmers will plant 575,000 acres of rice this year -- up eight percent from a year ago.

Marketers who are selling the rice from last year's crop say sales trends have been positive. The recent warm weather has pumped up field work after a slow start caused by the cool, wet spring.

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