FDA, CDC expand recall of supermarket salads due to possible contamination

Cyclospora can cause an intestinal illness in humans.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Alyssa Newcomb and Kerry Breen

Several brands of bagged salad sold at grocery stores in the Midwest are being recalled out of concern that they could be contaminated with a parasite that causes intestinal illness.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert last week warning shoppers that Little Salad Bar Brand Garden Salad from Aldi and Hy-Vee Brand Garden Salad are being investigated for a link to a Cyclospora outbreak.

Hy-Vee issued a recall for a salad bag sold in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.fda

On June 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA issued a wider recall, stating that contaminated salad mixes had been sold at Aldi, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco and Walmart stores. The recalled brands include:

  • Walmart's Marketside Classic Iceberg Salad
  • Aldi's Little Salad Bar's Garden Salad
  • Hy-Vee's Garden Salad
  • Jewel-Osco's Signature Farms brand Garden Salad

Fresh Express is the manufacturer of each of these recalled salads, and the CDC urges anyone who has any of these salads in their home to throw them away. The products are marked with the letter Z at the beginning of the product code, which is stamped in the upper right-hand corner of the front of the package, according to the FDA.

"If you live in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota or Wisconsin and don’t know whether the bagged salad mix you have in your home is one of these recalled salads, do not eat it. Throw it away," the organization said in a press release.

The FDA stated they had "concerns" that other FreshExpress products "made with iceberg lettuce, red cabbage or carrots may have the potential to be contaminated with Cyclospora."

Cyclospora is a parasite so small that it can only be viewed using a microscope. It's usually transmitted when infected fecal matter contaminates food or water. When people eat or drink something contaminated with the parasite, it can cause an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis.

Symptoms typically begin seven days after the parasite is ingested and may lead to watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, fatigue, vomiting and a low-grade fever. According to the CDC, 23 people have been hospitalized as a result of the current outbreak, but no deaths have been reported.

According to the CDC, 206 people who were confirmed to have Cyclospora infections reported eating bagged salad mixes before falling ill. The dates of the illnesses range from May 11 to June 17.

Hy-Vee issued a recall this week, allowing customers to take an affected salad bag to a store for a refund. According to the FDA, no other Hy-Vee products were affected.

The recall includes Hy-Vee bagged garden salad and Little Salad Bar garden salad.fda

The Aldi Little Salad Bar Garden Salad recall affects all product codes with use by dates ranging from May 1 to June 29, according to the FDA. The recalled salad bags were sold in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The Marketside Classic Iceberg Salad recall affects 12-ounce and 24-ounce bags of the salad mix with use-by dates ranging between May 19 to July 4. The recalled salads were sold at Walmart stores in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The Jewel-Osco Signature Farms brand Garden Salad recall affects 12-ounce bags sold at Jewel-Osco stores in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa with use-by dates that range from May 16 to July 4.

Customers with additional questions can also call the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center toll-free at (800) 242-5472 Monday - Friday during the hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.

Hy-Vee customers can reach representatives 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-772-4098.