An E. coli outbreak linked to Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Kit bagged salads has sickened 24 people in the U.S. and Canada. Sixteen of the illnesses were reported from five Canadian provinces, eight illnesses were reported from three U.S. states: North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Although the Fresh Express salad contains romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, CA, the outbreak strain is not the same as the one identified in an ongoing outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in Salinas which has sickened 102 people in 23 states. Health officials are doing more testing to determine which specific ingredient in the Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped salad kit is contaminated with E. coli. If the romaine is the contaminated ingredient, the Fresh Express cases and the strain of E. coli that caused them could be added to the ongoing outbreak.
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U.S. health officials used Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) to identify the genetic fingerprint associated with these cases. Four of the illnesses occurred in Minnesota, three in Wisconsin and one in North Dakota. They were able to interview seven of the eight patients, who range in age from 21 to 91, all of whom reported eating Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped salad before they became ill.
Three people have been hospitalized, one with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure that is a complication of some E. coli infections.
Fresh Express Recall in Canada
The product has been recalled in Canada. The Fresh Express recall there includes all packages of Sunflower Crisp Chopped Kit bagged salads bearing a “Best Before dates” up to and including 07DE19, and a lot code beginning with “Z”, and indicating “Salinas” as a source of Romaine lettuce.
Fresh Express has not issued a U.S. recall, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning Americans not to eat or sell Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits with UPC 0 71279 30906 4, lot codes beginning with the letter Z, and a best-before date up to and including 07DEC19. This information is printed in the top right corner of the front of the bag.
The E. coli lawyers at Pritzker Hageman have represented clients in every major E. coli outbreak in the last two decades. Our clients in the ongoing romaine outbreak include a teenager who developed HUS. If you would like to request a free consultation with our E. coli Team, call us at 1-888-377-8900, text us at 612-261-0856 or, fill out the form below.