A Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak associated with Taylor Farms Organic Kale Medley sickened six people in Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin in an email. The illnesses began between April 3 and April 26, 2016. One person was hospitalized as a result of their illness, and all patients are recovering.
The product associated with this outbreak, Taylor Farms Organic Kale Medley “power greens” mix, was purchased at Sam’s Club locations in Minnesota. The product contains kale, shredded carrots, chard, and spinach. That company pulled the product from store shelves nationwide on May 4, 2016, and directly notified all customers who purchased the product in Minnesota since March 1, 2016.
Doug Schultz, of the Minnesota Department of Health, stated in the email that “because Sam’s Club had the ability to directly notify all customers who had purchased the product, a press release was not necessary to reach those who had been exposed.” He added that the vehicle for the outbreak was identified quickly and there was a “small number of cases.”
Attorney Brendan Flaherty said about this outbreak, “Leafy greens continue to be a problem for the produce industry. This kind of outbreak remains far too common. It is past time for the industry to fix this problem from within.”
This is not the first time Taylor Farms’ products have been potentially contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. In May 2012, they recalled baby spinach for possible Salmonella contamination. In February 2013, Taylor Farms recalled their Organic Baby Spinach for E. coli. In August 2013, Taylor Farms de Mexico products were linked to a huge Cyclospora outbreak and were recalled. In April 2015, Taylor Farms foodservice spinach was recalled for E. coli and Salmonella contamination.
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and headache. Symptoms usually begin with 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the pathogenic bacteria. Most people recover on their own within about a week, but some people become so ill they must be hospitalized.
There are long term health consequences from a Salmonella infection, including reactive arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and high blood pressure. And about 10% of those who develop reactive arthritis can develop heart problems, including pericarditis, or inflammation of the membrane that covers the heart, and aortic regurgitation, which is leakage of blood from the aorta into the heart chamber. If you ate any of this product associated with this outbreak and have experienced these symptoms, please see your doctor.