One day after an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 24 people in the U.S. and Canada was linked to Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits, Wisconsin health officials found E. coli in another variety of Fresh Express bagged salad – chopped romaine. The finding could be key to solving a problem that has been plaguing the industry for years.

When health officials found E. coli in a bag of Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp, they were investigating an ongoing outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, CA. The E. coli strain in that outbreak, which has sickened 102 people in 23 states, has been linked to two other romaine outbreaks, one in 2018 and one in 2017.  In all three outbreaks, health officials were able to identify the growing area but unable to pinpoint a specific source. The Wisconsin finding today could change that. They are performing more tests on the strain to determine if it matches the strain causing the ongoing outbreak.

The Fresh Express Leafy Green Romaine bagged salad in question contains romaine for Salinas. Consumers should not eat Fresh Express Leafy Green Romaine lettuce with a “use-by” date of 11/14/2019 and lot code of Z301 A05B. Nor should they eat 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.

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romaine lettuce traceback process