July 17, 2024

Fresh Express Sickens Five Minnesotans with E. coli O157:H7 Infections

Fresh Express sickens five Minnesotans with E. coli O157:H7 infections, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. (MDH). Yesterday, the FDA’s press release stated that there were four people sick in that state. Doug Schultz, Information Officer for MDH told Food Poisoning Bulletin that there are no hemolytic uremic syndrome cases in the state, but that two of the five patients have been hospitalized. One patient has been released from the hospital.

Fresh Express Sickens Five Minnesotans with E. coli O157:H7 Infections

The illness onset dates for these patients range from November 8 to November 16, 2018. The patient age range is from 21 to 91. Four of the patients live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, and one lives in Greater Minnesota. Three people are sick in Wisconsin, and one person living in North Dakota is ill.

The product linked to this outbreak is Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits. The UPC number on this product is 0 71279 30906 4, the lot number begins with the letter Z, and the best before dates include all up to 07DEC19. This information is printed on the front of the bag on the top right corner.

Lawyer Fred Pritzker

Minneapolis food safety Attorney Fred Pritzker said, “These outbreaks are happening all too frequently. Growers and processors need to produce salads that will not make people sick.” You can contact Fred for help by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

This outbreak is the second this year that is linked to some type of salad or leafy green. An ongoing multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreak is linked to romaine lettuce that was grown and harvested in the Salinas, California growing region. That outbreak has sickened at least 102 people and hospitalized 58 as of December 4, 2019. Both of these outbreaks may grow because of the time lag between a person feeling sick and that patient being diagnosed and their illness reported. We don’t know if the romaine lettuce in this salad kit is contaminated,  or if another ingredient is the culprit.

Symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection include a mild fever and some nausea and vomiting. The classic symptoms include painful and severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea that may be bloody, since the pathogen attacks the intestinal lining. Symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) include little urine output since this complication attacks the kidneys, pale skin, lethargy, easy bruising, and bleeding from the nose and mouth. If you or anyone you know has been ill with these symptoms, especially if you have eaten the recalled Fresh Express salad kit, see your doctor. You may be part of this outbreak.


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