- At least 206 people have been sickened in a Cyclospora food poisoning outbreak linked to bagged salads.
- Fresh Express salads are being recalled from retailers including Walmart, Aldi, and Hy-Vee.
- Some experts refuse to eat bagged salads due to food poisoning risks, with attorney Bill Marler saying he avoids pre-cut fruits and vegetables “like the plague.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
More than 200 people have been sickened in a food poisoning outbreak linked to bagged salads.
At least 206 people have been sickened with Cyclospora infections as of June 26, according to the US Food and Drug Administration and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The FDA and CDC are investigating the outbreak, which is potentially connected to Fresh Express salads sold at stores including Aldi, Hy-Vee, and Walmart.
On Saturday, Fresh Express recalled salad products containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, or carrots produced at its Streamwood, Illinois, facility. Recalled items have the product code of Z178 (or a lower number). You can find the full list of recalled products here.
People in eight states – North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Montana – have been sickened in the outbreak, according to the CDC.
After eating food contaminated with Cyclospora, people may be infected with cyclosporiasis, an intestinal infection that the CDC can cause “severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, body aches and fatigue.”
Experts have long warned people about the food poisoning risks linked to bagged salad and other pre-cut produce. Bill Marler, an attorney who specialises in food poisoning cases, told Business Insider he avoids pre-cut fruits and vegetables “like the plague.”
While bagged salads and other prepared produce is convenient, more people handling and processing the food means there can be a greater chance of contamination. A CDC study found that leafy greens were associated with more food poisoning cases than any other type of food from 1998 to 2008. A Consumer Reports’ analysis of 208 salad bags found that a third contained “unacceptable” levels of bacteria with the potential to cause food poisoning.