News & Media


Public Health Notice – All samples tested were negative for E. coli

11 January, 2018

January 10, 2018 – Update

This notice is being updated to reflect that the outbreak appears to be over. The risk to Canadians has returned to low and the Public Health Agency of Canada is no longer advising individuals in affected provinces to consider consuming other types of lettuce, instead of romaine lettuce.

Why should you take note?

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to investigate an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157, commonly called E. coli. The outbreak involves five eastern provinces. Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to romaine lettuce has been identified as the source of the outbreak, but the cause of contamination has not been identified. No individuals have had illness onset dates beyond December 12, 2017. As a result, the outbreak appears to be over, and the risk to Canadians has returned to low.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has completed its food safety investigation. All samples tested were negative for E. coli O157.

Although the outbreak appears to be over, the Public Health Agency of Canada advises Canadians to always follow safe food handling tips for preparing lettuce. Individuals in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador are no longer advised to consider consuming other types of lettuce, instead of romaine lettuce.

The investigation into the possible source of the contaminated product remains active in the United States. This public health notice will be updated if there is any new information about the source of contamination or when the investigation closes.

How does lettuce become contaminated with E. coli?

E. coli are bacteria that live naturally in the intestines of cattle, poultry and other animals. A common source of E. coli illness is raw fruits and vegetables that have come in contact with feces from infected animals. Leafy greens, such as lettuce, can become contaminated in the field by soil, contaminated water, animals or improperly composted manure. Lettuce can also be contaminated by bacteria during and after harvest from handling, storing and transporting the produce. Contamination in lettuce is also possible at the grocery store, in the refrigerator, or from counters and cutting boards through cross-contamination with harmful bacteria from raw meat, poultry or seafood. Most E. coli strains are harmless to humans, but some varieties cause illness.

Investigation summary

As of January 10, 2018, there were 42 cases of E. coli O157 illness reported in five eastern provinces: Ontario (8), Quebec (15), New Brunswick (5), Nova Scotia (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (13). Individuals became sick in November and early December 2017. Seventeen individuals were hospitalized. One individual died. Individuals who became ill were between the ages of 3 and 85 years of age. The majority of cases (74%) were female. There is no evidence to suggest that provinces in western Canada were affected by this outbreak.

Most of the individuals who became sick reported eating romaine lettuce before their illnesses occurred. Individuals reported eating romaine lettuce at home, as well as in prepared salads purchased at grocery stores, restaurants and fast food chains. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency worked with public health officials to determine the source of the romaine lettuce that ill individuals were exposed to. As part of the food safety investigation into the source of contamination, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency tested romaine lettuce for the presence of E. coli. All food samples have tested negative and no source of contamination has been identified.

On December 28, 2017, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a media statement regarding a multistate outbreak of E. coli infections that are genetically related to the outbreak in Canada. On January 10, 2018, an updated media statement was released by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

FRESH Attitude brand, establishes its presence in the Okanagan Valley

7 December, 2017

Vegpro International, a Canadian leader in ready-to-eat packaged salads sold under the FRESH Attitude brand, establishes its presence in Coldstream, British Columbia to provide fresh, local and sustainable produce to Western Canada.

Coldstream, British Columbia, December 6, 2017 – Coldstream Ranch has agreed to sell Vegpro

International approximately 700 acres of premium agricultural land for the development of Vegpro’s packaged salad greens in Western Canada. The vertically integrated salad grower intends to begin operations in Coldstream starting in the spring/early summer of 2018. The transaction provides an opportunity to add value to the Coldstream agricultural land base while maintaining the integrity of one of the oldest continually operating ranches in Canada.

“Since I met Gerry Van Winden last summer, I have been impressed by his vision to create a Western platform in salad. His idea to bring organic production and develop a sustainable source of fresh produce in Coldstream will be very positive for the region while ensuring that our agricultural lands are used for what they are intended,” said Keith Balcaen, owner of the Coldstream Ranch.

Vegpro International is family owned and operated. Taking advantage of its vertical integration, Vegpro controls quality from field to fork. The company’s FRESH Attitude brand has a leading market presence with the most established Canadian retailers. With its favorable climate, quality soils and proximity to a quality labor pool, Coldstream represents the ideal location to implement the company’s Western Canadian operations and an opportunity to bring sizable organic vegetable production to the Okanagan Valley.

“We believe that Coldstream brings optimal conditions to establish Canada’s leading organic salad growing operation. Today, most of the organic produce originates from the West Coast of the US. Growing local organic produce for Canadians is one of the main goals we are pursuing in establishing a presence in Coldstream. Through our numerous visits in the region, we found a supportive community that shared our vision” said Gerry Van Winden, Founder and President of Vegpro.

“Today is an exciting day for Coldstream, particularly the Agriculture sector. The investment and commitment from Vegpro to establish their western operations in our community will bring significant economic benefits to Coldstream and Greater Vernon as well as enhance the agricultural productivity of lands within the ALR. I look forward to working with Vegpro as they move through the process of setting up their farming and administrative operations. “ said Mayor Jim Garlick, District of Coldstream

In addition to the farming operation, a 70,000 sq. ft. state of the art produce packing facility will create additional employment opportunity for local communities. Led by an experienced team, Vegpro will look to hire for several key positions in anticipation of commencing operations. Vegpro International intends to create approximately 200 new jobs over the next 3 years. The first wave of job postings will be available soon at

About Vegpro International

For nearly 20 years, Vegpro International has been the leading producer of fresh vegetables in Canada and is known for its FRESH Attitude brand. Specializing in the production and packaging of baby lettuces and crucifers, it also markets a wide range of vegetables grown on its own farmland. Thanks to their fields in Quebec and Florida, it provides top quality products throughout the year. Its mission is to be recognized as a leader in innovation of agricultural production and packaging of ready to eat vegetables, by bringing a combination of freshness and convenience to North America.

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If you would like more information, please contact Mr. Jonathan Blais at Vegpro International Inc or

email at

Take up the Health Challenge with Fresh Attitude!

5 April, 2016

From March 31 to May 11, 2016, Fresh Attitude is proud partner of the Health Challenge, an initiative from Capsana. For more than 10 years now, this campaign invites Quebecers to adopt an healthier lifestyle by reaching at 3 simple goals during 6 weeks :


On this occasion, our employees are up to the challenge and already subscribed online. Be part of this adventure too and click here!

Montreal’s Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert

5 April, 2016

Proclaimed Quebec’s « health – flavor » event of the spring, the Expo “MSEV” attracted lovers of healthy food, living and ecology. Over 250 exhibitors gathered for this 19th edition to greet 23 500 visitors at Montreal’s Palais des Congrès.

We were pleased to show you our new “SUPER Food” products made with baby kale.

Thank for stopping by our booth and see you next year!

Montreal’s Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert

9 March, 2016

For the first time this year, Fresh Attitude is a proud participant of the Montreal’s Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert, taking place March 11, 12 and 13. On this occasion, you will discover our new “Super Food” made with baby kale.

Held at Montréal’s Palais des Congrès, this unique exhibition allows all food lovers to discover the delights and natural products from Quebec’s producers and other regions. With over 250 exhibitors in food, ecology and overall health, Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert also offers 80 lectures and cooking demonstrations for the curious mind.

On this occasion, our Chef and R & D Manager, Luc Van Winden, will do a cooking demonstration on the Kale trend in food on March, 11 at 10:45.

Come visit us at Booth 738!

National Order of Agricultural Merit 2015

29 October, 2015

 Sherrington – October 16th, 2015: A great year of recognition for our farming partners.

It is with great pride that we highlight the achievement of two of our farming partners this year with them winning the National Order of Agricultural Merit award. The 1st place in the Silver medal category went to Hotte and Van Winden Farm. The 3rd place in the Gold category went to Delfland Inc. Congratulations to both producers for winning these awards, which are especially renowned in the Canadian agricultural sector.

Fresh Attitude salads in the desert!

26 March, 2015

Yep, you read that right. At this very moment, our salads bring a fresh breeze to one of the seven Canadian teams that are taking part in the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles in the Moroccan desert. Driving their fabulous 4X4 decorated to the Fresh Attitude colors, our brand ambassadors, Emilie Heckmann and Julie Lorazo, will be going over sand dunes for the next 9 days in this extreme off-road rally. Bringing together 150 teams of women (the Gazelles) from the 4 corners of the world, tthe “Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc” is in its 25th edition. As a proud partner, we wish them the best of luck in their adventure. Follow the crew 176- Fresh Attitude on their facebook page.


FCC Drive Away Hunger in Quebec

14 October, 2014

FCC Drive Away Hunger in Quebec– October 15, 2014

Proud partner of the Farm Credit Canada Drive Away Hunger campaign, Vegpro International Inc. will be greeting the official food drive at its place of business in Sherrington, on October 15th. For the occasion, Vegpro will give away over 10 000 pounds of food to Moisson Rive-Sud.

Save your time and eat better (French Article)

22 January, 2013

TVA – Salut Bonjour TV Show – Nutrition review from Isabelle Huot – January 22, 2013

The “lack of time” phenomenon has prompted many companies to create simple products, consisting of a minimum of ingredients, for the consumers. Isabelle Huot, PhD in Nutrition helps us to make good choices among them. (Video and article available in French only)

Link to full article and video Read the rest of this entry »

A long-term endeavour (French TV Program)

19 January, 2013

Radio Canada – La Semaine Verte TV Show – Presented by Errol Duchaine – January 19, 2013

“Committed to bring to market a local product with nothing to envy the imported onions from the United States or Europe, Vegetable Growers from Napierville, the Van Winden embarked on a careful selection process that will require them years of work and patience.” Errol Duchaine asked Jean-Bernard Van Winden. (TV Program available in French only)

Link to the video Read the rest of this entry »