Fresh Express expanded its bagged salad recall to include many lettuce mixes and coleslaw with iceberg lettuce, red cabbage or carrot that investigators say are the likely cause of a cyclospora outbreak.
The FDA is inspecting an Illinois plant where Fresh Express made the products under its brand and for a half dozen grocery store brands. The agency is trying to trace the source of the intestinal parasite, which has infected about 200 people in Midwestern states, including 23 who needed to go to the hospital, according to the CDC’s tally. The salads were sold throughout much of the U.S.
“Currently, epidemiologic and traceback information collected by federal and state investigators indicates that a likely cause of this outbreak is product made at the Fresh Express production facility in Streamwood, Ill.,” the FDA’s update says.
The recall includes Fresh Express branded salads and products made by the company for store brands sold at six grocery chains:
- ALDI Little Salad Bar
- Giant Eagle
- Jewel-Osco Signature Farms
- ShopRite Wholesome Pantry
- Walmart Marketside
Some examples of recalled Fresh Express varieties include old-fashioned coleslaw, three-color deli coleslaw, fancy greens, iceberg garden salad, and chopped salad kits in chipotle cheddar, bacon and bleu, and BBQ ranch flavors.
Investigators continue to look into whether other ingredients were contaminated and whether other retail brands may be affected.
The recalled products are marked with the letter z at the beginning of the product code in the upper, front right corner, followed by the number 178 or lower. Best by dates run through July 14.
When the outbreak investigation was first announced, the company recalled mixed garden salads for some store brands. Then the FDA and CDC discussed with Fresh Express concerns that additional products made in the Streamwood facility could also contain cyclospora, prompting the additional recall.
“Fresh Express takes food safety matters very seriously, stringently follows all mandated regulations and implements preventive measures designed to minimize potential risks,” the company’s recall announcement says. “Fresh Express is working in close coordination with FDA in its continuing investigation to identify a definitive source of the current cyclospora outbreak.”
People should throw away recalled salad packages. For questions and refund information, contact the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center 800-242-5472 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT on Sunday.
For a complete list of recalled products, visit the FDA’s recall announcement page.