The Iowa City Community School District served students recalled lettuce that may have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
The fifth largest school district in Iowa was notified Monday that a recall of retail and foodservice bagged salads produced by River Ranch Fresh Foods of Salinas Calif. had been issued after Listeria was detected in a finished product during random sampling. But for the Iowa school district, the notice was too late.
During the previous two weeks, salad included in the recall had already been served to all 12,454 students in the district, according to a statement posted on the district’s website. Tuesday, May 7, was chef salad day for the elementary schools, so the recalled lettuce was offered to all elementary students on that day, according to the statement. For secondary students, Romaine blend is a daily choice as a fresh vegetable choice and in deli and sub sandwiches.
Specific information about potential exposure is as follows: For Lemme, Lucas, Twain, Wood, Hoover, Longfellow and Tate schools, chef salad day was the only day the recalled lettuce was provided as a choice, according to the statement. For Garner, Coralville Central, Kirkwood, Lincoln, Mann, Penn, Shimek, Wickham and Van Allen schools, Romaine was a choice on May 14. For Hills, Horn, Roosevelt and Weber schools the recalled lettuce was offered May 11, 14, 16 and 18 as one of the menu choices.
So far, there have been no illnesses reported in association with this recall. However, the incubation period for a Listeria infection, called listeriosis, can be as long as 90 days after exposure, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The median incubation period is 30 days. The onset of illness is marked by flu-like symptoms such as fever and muscle aches and may also include nausea and diarrhea.
Listeriosis is a serious, sometimes fatal infection. Health officials advise that those who have been exposed and become symptomatic seek medical attention.