Monday, April 10, 2017

Bagged Salad Mix Recalled After Dead Bat Found in Bag

Walmart is recalling their Marketside Spring Mix Salad after the supplier "Fresh Express was notified that extraneous animal matter was allegedly found in a single container of the salad".   That extraneous matter was a dead bat.

While of course, everyone worries about rabies, but this would be an extremely low risk.  Rabies virus is an enveloped virus and does not survive in the environment well if at all. While there have been some rare, laboratory-created instances of it be transmitted through aerosol with depleted oxygen, this is really a non-factor.  The bigger risks are the normal foodborne pathogens that can be carried by bats, including Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella, Shigella, and Yersinia as well as some more exotic bacterial types.  Depending on where the bat entered the system would determine the amount of dissemination of these types of organisms.

Now how does bat get into a bag?  If not intentionally placed there by someone, and one had to would most likely come into the packaging area of the processing plant at night.  The greens are chopped and washed, so unlikely that it came in the loads of produce (unless some component was not chopped).  More likely, this flew into the plant at night when doors were left opened and took refuge in the equipment.  If this were the case, it occurred after sanitation.  When the greens started flowing, the little dude was crushed and loaded into the bag.  All a guess of course, but if true, would probably be in one of the bags from early in the production run..  Prevention....keeping doors shut at night, especially dock doors. X-ray equipment would have likely found this if in place.

FDA Recall Notice
Precautionary Recall of a Limited Quantity of Organic Marketside Spring Mix Salad is Announced by Fresh Express
For Immediate Release
April 8, 2017

Consumers Fresh Express  (800) 242-5472
Walmart (800) WAL-MART    Walmart (800) 331-0085
MediaFresh Express Donna Watkins (512) 848-1698


Orlando, Fla., -- Fresh Express is announcing a precautionary recall of a limited number of cases of Organic Marketside Spring Mix.

The item subject to the recall is 5 oz. Organic Marketside Spring Mix marketed in a clear container with production code G089B19 and best-if-used-by date of APR 14, 2017 located on the front label, and UPC code 6 8113132897 5 located on the bottom of the container. The recalled salads were distributed only to Walmart stores located in the Southeastern region of the United States.

The recall was necessitated when Fresh Express was notified that extraneous animal matter was allegedly found in a single container of the salad. Out of an abundance of caution, all salads manufactured in the same production run are being recalled.

No other Marketside salads are included in the recall. Fresh Express salads are not subject to a recall.

Walmart acted quickly to remove the product from store shelves.

Consumers who may have already purchased the recalled product should discard and not consume it. A full refund is available where purchased or by calling the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center toll-free at (800) 242-5472 during the hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

Upon receiving notification, both Walmart and Fresh Express food safety and rapid response teams, in close coordination with regulatory authorities, acted immediately to review all relevant records, launch an intensive investigation and initiate product removal and recall procedures.

Fresh Express takes matters of food safety very seriously and rigorously complies with all food safety regulations including the proscribed Good Agricultural Practices. In addition, a range of stringent controls are in place during growing and harvesting to mitigate against field material from entering the raw product system. In manufacturing, additional controls including thorough washing and filtration systems as well as visual inspections that are designed to eliminate unwanted debris.

Recalled Product Details
Organic Marketside Spring Mix - 5 oz. clear container
Production Code of G089B19 and best-if-used-by date of APR 14 2017, located on the top label
UPC Code of 6 8113132897 5 located on the bottom of the container next to the bar code

Recalled Product Distribution

Fresh Express Precautionary Recall, 5 oz. Organic Marketside Spring Mix
(No other Marketside Salads and No Fresh Express Salads are included in this recall)


Fresh Express Recalls Batch After Dead Bat Found In Prepackaged Salad
April 9, 20171:53 AM ET

Emma Bowman

An unwelcome discovery by a couple of salad eaters included a sordid new ingredient.

On Saturday, the company Fresh Express announced a precautionary recall of some of its prepackaged salad mixes, after two people in Florida say they found a dead bat in their leafy greens.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the two had eaten some of the product before finding the decomposed organism in a 5-ounce clear container of the Organic Marketside Spring Mix.

But "out of an abundance of caution," Fresh Express says in a statement, all Organic Marketside Spring Mix salads from that production lot are subject to the recall.

The mix in question was distributed exclusively to Walmart stores located in the Southeastern region of the U.S. Walmart has since pulled the product from its shelves, the company adds, and no other Marketside salads are included in the recall.

Florida health officials, the FDA and the CDC have launched an investigation into the matter.

Due to the animal's decayed condition, the CDC couldn't immediately rule out whether this particular bat carried rabies, but recommended the two people who ate the contaminated salad receive treatment for the disease.

"Both people report being in good health and neither has any signs of rabies," the CDC says.

The deadly rabies virus is endemic to bats across the U.S., but is rarely contracted by humans. And, as the CDC points out, transmission through consuming an infected animal is "extremely uncommon." The agency adds that it hasn't heard of any other cases of bat material found in packaged salads.

"People who have eaten the recalled salad product and did not find animal material are not at risk and do not need to contact their health department," the CDC advises.

Zoonoses and Public Health
Bats and Bacterial Pathogens: A Review

K. Mühldorfer

Research Group of Wildlife Diseases, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, GermanySearch for more papers by this author

First published: 2 August 2012Full publication history
DOI: 10.1111/j.1863-2378.2012.01536.x View/save citation
Cited by (CrossRef): 29 articles Check for updates
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K. Mühldorfer. Research Group of Wildlife Diseases, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Alfred-Kowalke-Str. 17, 10315 Berlin, Germany. Tel.: +49 30 5168246; Fax: +49 30 5126104; E-mail:


The occurrence of emerging infectious diseases and their relevance to human health has increased the interest in bats as potential reservoir hosts and vectors of zoonotic pathogens. But while previous and ongoing research activities predominantly focused on viral agents, the prevalence of pathogenic bacteria in bats and their impact on bat mortality have largely neglected. Enteric pathogens found in bats are often considered to originate from the bats’ diet and foraging habitats, despite the fact that little is known about the actual ecological context or even transmission cycles involving bats, humans and other animals like pets and livestock. For some bacterial pathogens common in human and animal diseases (e.g. Pasteurella, Salmonella, Escherichia and Yersinia spp.), the pathogenic potential has been confirmed for bats. Other bacterial pathogens (e.g. Bartonella, Borrelia and Leptospira spp.) provide evidence for novel species that seem to be specific for bat hosts but might also be of disease importance in humans and other animals. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current knowledge of bacterial pathogens identified in bats and to consider factors that might influence the exposure and susceptibility of bats to bacterial infection but could also affect bacterial transmission rates between bats, humans and other animals.

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