New E. coli outbreak linked to Salinas Valley salad kits

Dec 10, 2019

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning the public not to eat, and to throw out, certain salad kits from Salinas Valley produce company Fresh Express after another E. coli outbreak has sickened more than 20 people in the United States and Canada.

The CDC advised consumers, retailers and restaurants Monday evening not eat or sell Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits with the UPC number 0 71279 30906 4, beginning with lot code Z and a best-before date up to and including December 7, 2019. This information is printed on the front of the bag in the top right corner.

The E. coli strain involved in this new outbreak sickened eight people in the U.S. and 16 in Canada. But the CDC said the strain is different than the one involved in a previous outbreak of Salinas Valley romaine lettuce around Thanksgiving that has sickend 102 people in 23 states. While the Fresh Express salad kit does contain romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley, the CDC said it does not yet know if the two outbreaks are related.

Of the eight people sickened in the U.S., three have been hospitalized and one developed kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

The CDC advises consumers or retailers who may have purchased the Fresh Express salad kit to throw it out and disinfect any surface it may have touched. If anyone believes they have symptoms of an E. coli infection, which may include stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea, the CDC recommends they talk to their healthcare provider, write down the week the product was consumed and when the symptoms of illness began, and report the illness to a local health department.