The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), public health and regulatory officials in several states and Canada, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp chopped salad kit. This outbreak is caused by a different strain of E. coli O157:H7 than the current outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from the Salinas, Calif., growing region.
As of December 9, a total of eight people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported in the United States. Illnesses originate in three states from Nov. 5, 2019, to Nov. 15, 2019. Three of the eight ill people have been hospitalized, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.
As of December 8, there were 16 confirmed cases of E. coli O157 illness linked to this outbreak in Canada. Individuals in six provinces became sick between November 5 and November 22, 2019. Four individuals have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
U.S. public health officials are interviewing ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures in the week before their illness started. Of seven ill people with information available, all seven (100%) reported eating any leafy green in the week before their illness started. Six ill people reported eating or maybe eating a Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp chopped salad kit. The investigation is ongoing to determine which ingredient in the salad was contaminated.
On December 8, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a food recall warning for Fresh Express brand Sunflower Crisp Chopped Kit, 315-g packages, UPC Code: 0 71279 30906 4, beginning with lot code Z. These products have a best before date up to and including December 7, 2019, and were sold in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
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