Bagged salads made by Fresh Express and sold under store brand names at ALDI, Hy-Vee and Jewel-Osco are linked to a Cyclospora outbreak that has sickened more than 120 people in seven states. The map below shows the 12 states where the recalled products were initially distributed: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana. However, federal officials note that the products could have been further distributed to other states.
All three grocery store companies have issued recalls for the garden salad product linked to this outbreak which contains iceberg lettuce, carrots and red cabbage.
At ALDI stores, the recall is for Little Salad Bar Garden Salad sold in 12 oz-bags with the UPC code 4099100082975 and “Best If Used By” dates of May 1 through June 29.
At Hy-Vee, the recall includes all UPC codes of Hy-Vee Garden Salad sold in 12 oz. packages.
At Jewel-Osco, the recall includes Signature Farms Garden Salad sold in 12-ounce bags with “BEST IF USED BY” dates of May 16 through July 4 or (5-16-20 through 7-04-20) the UPC code of 21130 98135 and the unique plant number S5417.
Consumers who shop at these stores should check recall information carefully. These salads should not be eaten as Cyclospora can cause serious illness.
Do I Have A Cyclospora Infection?
If you live in one of the 12 states where the recalled bagged salad product was distributed (Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin); have eaten one of the recalled products and are concerned that you may have a Cyclospora infection, here’s what you can do.
Watch for Symptoms -The hallmark of a Cyclospora infection is explosive sometimes watery diarrhea which can be accompanied by muscle aches, abdominal cramps, vomiting, fever and other flu-like symptoms.
See a Doctor, Get Tested – If you ate the recalled product and have these symptoms, see your doctor. A stool sample test can determine if you have a Cyclospora infection.
Contact the Health Department – A Cyclospora infection, called cyclosporiasis, is a reportable disease which means it must be reported to the health department. If your test shows you have Cyclospora infection, ask your doctor if he or she will contact the health department or if you should contact them. This is an important step because it creates a record of your illness and helps public health officials solve outbreaks.
Create a Record – Once the health department is notified, they will contact you for some information. To prepare for this, write down as much as you can remember about your illness- when and where you purchased the salad, if you have a receipt or shopper card info, the date you got sick, the symptoms you experienced, how long they lasted and when you saw a doctor. Health officials may also ask if you have any remaining product that they can test.
“Fresh Express a Repeat Offender”
So far, this outbreak includes 122 people in seven states. They range in age from 16 to 92 years old. Nineteen of them have been hospitalized. The number of cases reported from each state is:
- Iowa (54)
- Illinois (30)
- Kansas (1)
- Minnesota (13)
- Missouri (7)
- Nebraska (8)
- Wisconsin (9)
Humans are the only known reservoir of Cyclospora, a parasite historically associated with travel to tropical and sub-tropical climates. People get Cyclospora infections when they eat food contaminated with microscopic amounts of fecal matter from an infected person.
Over the last 10 years, the number of Cyclospora outbreaks in the U.S. has been increasing. After a 2013 outbreak linked to produce grown in Mexico and served at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did an environmental assessment of the growing area and made four recommendations to prevent future outbreaks.
- Have health officials investigate all ingredients in a salad mix.
- Have companies re-evaluate their mitigation controls.
- Have companies take and test stool samples of employees with diarrheal illness.
- Install better hand-washing faucets in portable toilets.
But the outbreaks have continued. Some of them have been large – like a 40-state outbreak in 2017 that sickened more than 1,000 people. And now at least two of them have been linked to the same company in the span of two years.
In 2018, salads made by Fresh Express and sold at McDonald’s locations sickened 511 people in 16 states, hospitalizing 24 of them.
“When it comes to foodborne illness outbreaks, Fresh Express is a repeat offender. As we have before, we will hold Fresh Express accountable for manufacturing and selling unsafe food,” said Food Safety Lawyer Raymond Konz.
Pritzker Hageman Cyclospora lawyers represented clients in the Fresh Express/McDonald’s Cyclospora outbreak and in every major Cyclospora outbreak in the U.S. To request a free consultation with our experienced Cyclospora Team, please call 1-888-377-8900, text 612-261-0856, or complete the form below. There is no obligation and we don’t get paid unless we win.