FDA tracing romaine in E. coli outbreak investigation; salads recalled in 22 states
Investigators visiting California farms to find out how widespread contamination is
Investigators announced an E. coli outbreak and a trace of romaine lettuce, prompting a recall of salad kits and bowls sold at many stores in 22 states.
Missa Bay recalled about 100,000 pounds of salad products with chicken or turkey because the lettuce may be contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.
A sampling of the recalled salads: Aldi Bistro Chicken Caesar Salad, Giant Eagle Chicken Caesar Salad, Bonduelle Cobb Salad, Domino’s Classic Garden Salad, Signature Café Deli Chicken Southwest (a Safeway brand) and Marketside BLT Salad with Avocado Dressing (Walmart). All use by dates have passed. Here’s the complete list of recalled products.
The FDA has traced the lettuce supply from a bag of one recalled item—Ready Pac Bistro Chicken Caesar Salad sold at Sam’s Club in Maryland—to possible farms in Salinas, Calif. Investigators are visiting the farms to find out the extent of contamination.
Seventeen people in eight states were infected with the outbreak strain. Seven had to be hospitalized.
Maryland health officials tested the ingredients in an unopened package of the Caesar salad from a sick person’s home. The romaine that tested positive was harvested in mid-October and would be past its expiration date.
Testing is underway to find out if the strain in the sample is linked genetically to the one that infected the sick people, health officials says. Investigators are still interviewing people about what they ate.
The illnesses started Sept. 24, with the last one beginning Nov. 8. See the CDC’s map of where the illnesses occurred here.
The recalled salad products were produced Oct. 14-16. The packages have establishment number 18502B on in the USDA mark of inspection. All products from the same lot of lettuce as the Maryland sample are included in the recall.
The items were shipped to Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin.
People with the salads should throw them away or return them to the place where purchased. Anyone with recall questions may contact Mary Toscano, consumer affairs manager for Bonduelle, at 800-800-7822.