December 2, 2023

Two E. coli Outbreaks Linked to Prepared Foods This Year

The E. coli outbreak linked to ready-to-eat salads sold at Trader Joe’s and other stores is the second multistate E. coli outbreak linked to prepared foods this year. The first one, announced in March, was linked to frozen snack foods sold under the Farm Rich, Market Day and Schwan’s brands.

Trader-Joes-Chopped-SaladIn the current outbreak, at least 26 people in three states have been sickened with E. coli O157:H7 infections after eating Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken and Mexicali Salad with Chili Lime Chicken, produced by Glass Onion Catering and sold at Trader Joe’s stores. Six people have been hospitalized, two of them with HUS, a condition that develops in about 10 percent of E. coli infections which leads to kidney failure.

Glass Onion has recalled 16 salads and sandwich wraps for possible E. coli contamination. These products were sold at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Walgreens, and gas stations and smaller stores in Northern California. Consumers who have purchased these products should not eat them.

Health officials have not yet determined the specific source of the E. coli contamination. “I hope investigators quickly discover how these foods were contaminated, and why the manufacturer did not detect the bacteria before the product was shipped,” said Fred Pritzker, food safety attorney and publisher of Food Poisoning Bulletin.

Earlier this year, an E. coli o121 outbreak linked to frozen snack foods produced by Rich Products Corp. sickened 35 people in 19 states. Eighty percent of those sickened, were 21 years old or younger. Nine people were hospitalized, two developed HUS.




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