Salinas Company’s Salad Kits Linked to E.Coli Outbreak That Sickened 8 in U.S., 16 in Canada

Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits with this identifying information is being recalled after an outbreak of E. coli infections. (Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits with this identifying information is being recalled after an outbreak of E. coli infections. (Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

A Salinas company’s chopped salad kit was linked to an E.coli outbreak that sickened eight people in three U.S. states and 16 in Canada, health officials said Monday.

Romaine lettuce that “likely came from the Salinas growing region” is one of the ingredients in the Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp chopped salad kits, but investigators do not yet know whether the latest E.coli outbreak is tied to the larger multistate one that has sickened 102 people, including four in California, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Testing is expected to determine which of the ingredients in the salad was contaminated, the CDC said.

All those affected by the recent eight-person outbreak were infected with a strain of E.coli that is different from the one that sickened customers who reported eating the Salinas-grown lettuce, according to a CDC news release.

The patients started falling ill between Nov. 5 and Nov. 15 in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin, according to the news release. Six of those sickened reported eating a Fresh Express salad.

One of the patients developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, health officials said.

Those who purchased the salad with the identifying code “UPC 0 71279 30906 4” were told to throw it away and to sanitize their refrigerators to make sure the bacteria doesn’t spread.

Symptoms of an E.coli infection vary for each person, but typically include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and a fever. The symptoms usually appear an average of three to four days after the person swallows the germ.

Retailers and restaurants were asked to not sell or serve the salad kit as the investigation into the source of contamination continues.

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