A Salmonella outbreak linked to BrightFarms prepackaged salad ended after sickening 31 people in four states, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC). Four of the patients were so sick they required hospitalization. Since the CDC’s last update, the outbreak expanded to include 20 more illnesses in one more state.
The four states reporting illnesses are: IL (18), WI (10), PA (2) and MI (1). The patients ranged in age from less than 1 year to 86 years. The median age was 44. The patients, 60 percent of whom were female, reported the onset of symptoms on dates ranging from June 10, 2021, to August 18, 2021.
Of the 27 patients interviewed by health officials, 26 reported eating leafy greens before they became ill. Twenty-two of them said they ate prepackaged salad. Shopper card records and patient information interview data revealed that 15 of the patients said they bought or ate BrightFarms packaged salad greens before they got sick. Records show the varieties they purchased included Sunny Crunch, 50/50 Spring & Spinach, Harvest Crunch, and Butter Crisp.
BrightFarms Salad Salmonella Recall
BrightFrams of New York, NY grows leafy greens in greenhouses hydroponically. Their method uses “80% less water, 90% less land, and 95% less shipping fuel than long-distance field-grown produce,” according to the BrightFarms website. The company uses non-GMO seeds and does not use pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. It also does not use chlorine baths on its greens. BrightFarms operates greenhouses in Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia
Using shopper card data, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that the BrightFarms salads some of the sick people ate were produced at the greenhouse located in Rochelle, Illinois.
On July 15, 2021, BrightFarms issued a recall for eight salad varieties :
- BrightFarms NutrigreensTM (3 oz. package)
- BrightFarms Butter Crisp TM (4 oz. Package)
- BrightFarms Harvest Crunch ® (4 oz. package)
- BrightFarms Mighty Romaine TM (4 oz. and 8 oz. package)
- BrightFarms 50/50 Spring & Spinach (4 oz. package)
- BrightFarms Spring Crunch (4 oz. package)
- BrightFarms Spring Mix (4 oz. and 8 oz. package)
- BrightFarms Sunny Crunch ® (4 oz. and 8 oz. package)
On July 28, 2021, BrightFarms expanded the salad Salmonella recall to include baby spinach. The expanded recall included 4-ounce containers with the UPC 5706200439 and 8-ounce containers have the UPC 5706200449.
Salmonella Outbreak Investigation
Using whole genome sequencing, health officials identified the genetic fingerprint of the Salmonella Typhimurium strain associated with this outbreak. This means that the Salmonella cultured from each of the 31 patients had matching fingerprints.
The FDA collected and tested samples from the BrightFarms greenhouse in Rochelle, Illinois. They found Salmonella Liverpool in an indoor pond at the facility (this is what prompted the expanded recall) and the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium in an outdoor stormwater drainage pond near the greenhouse. FDA investigators were never able to determine how the drainage pond became contaminated with the outbreak strain.
Salmonella Lawyers with Experience
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