Two separate outbreaks linked to different salads have sickened 41 people across the US, health officials say.
On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that eight people had contracted E. coli after eating Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits.
However, the agency said it is not related to the E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, California.
Additionally, a New Jersey-based company has recalled it’s pre-cut fruit salad after 33 hospital patients reported falling ill with salmonella poisoning.
The CDC says eight people have contracted E. coli in three states from a pre-packaged salad kit (pictured) while the FDA announced a recall of a pre-cut fruit salad mix that sickened 33 with salmonella
In the pre-packaged salad outbreak, CDC officials reported eight people have been sickened in three states: Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Most strains of the bacteria detected in the salad kits are harmless but a few, particularly E. coli O157:H7, can cause severe infections.
According to the Mayo Clinic, O157:H7 produces a powerful toxin, called Shiga toxin, which can damage the lining of the small intestine.
The CDC estimates E. coli O157:H7 causes 265,000 illness, 3,600 hospitalizations and 30 deaths in the US annually.
Most people can recover without treatment, although there are cases in which people develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
HUS occurs when there is an abnormal destruction of blood platelets and red blood cells by the Shiga toxin.
The damaged blood cells can clog the kidney’s filtering system, resulting in life-threatening kidney failure, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In this outbreak, three people have been hospitalized, including one patient who developed HUS.
‘Romaine is one of the ingredients in the Sunflower Crisp salad kit, but the investigation is ongoing to determine what ingredient in the salad kit was contaminated,’ the CDC said on its website.
In the meantime, consumers and restaurant owners are advised to throw away the salad kit.
Kits that are contaminated have a UPC code of 0 71279 30906 4, beginning with lot code Z, and a best-before date up to and including December 7, 2019.
In addition, last week, Tailor Cut Produce announced it was recalling its Fruit Luau salad mix of pre-cut honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple and grapes over fears of Salmonella contamination.
The two-and-half gallon cases were distributed in Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania between November 15 and December 1.
Officials learned of the contamination after 33 patients fell ill in four hospitals in Pennsylvania, according to a notice from the US Food and Drug Administration.
The company says the salads ‘may have been distributed to nursing homes, schools, hospitals and other facilities that cater to vulnerable populations.’
Salmonella infections are usually contracted after eating raw meat and eggs or foods that are commonly contaminated with the bacteria.
Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain that generally last between four and seven days.
According to the CDC, salmonella is the cause for 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the US annually.
Most people can recover without treatment, although there are cases where antibiotics or IV fluids are needed.