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FDA Recalls Bagged Salads After Hundreds Get Sick

by Casey Suglia

Before you reach for that convenient bagged salad mix, take note — Fresh Express has issued a voluntary recall for bagged salad from different grocery chains after hundreds of people reportedly got sick after eating it.

Bagged salads manufactured by Fresh Express — and sold at different retailers throughout the midwestern United States — are part of a voluntary recall due to potential illness, according to a statement from Fresh Express. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) found a potential link to bagged salad and a Cyclospora outbreak which has reportedly left more than 200 people sick in eight different states, per data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The bags included in this recall contain iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrot ingredients, according to Fresh Express, and were produced at their Streamwood, Illinois, facility. They were sold at retailers in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, reported the CDC. Romper has reached out to Fresh Express for comment and is awaiting a response.

The following products are a part of the voluntary recall, via the CDC:

  • Walmart's Marketside brand Classic Iceberg Salad, 12-ounce and 24-ounce bags, use-by dates: May 19 through July 4
  • ALDI's Little Salad Bar brand Garden Salad, 12-ounce bags, use-by dates: May 1 through June 29
  • Hy-Vee's Garden Salad, 12-ounce bags, any use-by date
  • Jewel Osco Signature Farms Garden Salad, 12-ounce bags, use-by dates: May 16 through July 4

These products also have a "Z" at the beginning of the product code, or the product code Z178, located in the upper right-hand corner of the bag, according to Fresh Express. The FDA also has photos of these bagged salads here.

If you have these bagged salads in your refrigerator, do not eat from them. You should throw them out immediately, according to Fresh Express. "Fresh Express stringently follows all mandated regulations and implements preventative food safety measures designed to minimize potential risks," the company wrote in a statement. "We are working in close coordination with FDA in its continuing investigation to identify a definitive source of the current Cyclospora outbreak."

Cyclospora is a parasite that causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis, according to the CDC. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and nausea. Antibiotics prescribed from your doctor will help clear up the infection — if cyclosporiasis goes untreated, the symptoms can persist for several weeks to a month, according to the CDC, but it is not life-threatening.

If you have symptoms of cyclosporiasis, you should contact your health care provider and report your illness to the health department, according to the CDC. If you have any questions about this voluntary recall, you can contact the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center toll-free at (800) 242-5472 on Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.