E. coli outbreak linked to packaged salad
The FDA and CDC, in collaboration with state and local partners, are investigating illnesses in a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7. According to the CDC, as of Jan. 6, 10 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli have been reported from four states. Consumer purchase data indicate that seven people purchased Nature's Basket Power Greens or Simple Truth Organic Power Greens at grocery stores before becoming sick.
Based on those purchase dates, the latest “best if used by” date is estimated to be Dec. 20, 2021. These two salad blends consist of organic spinach, mizuna, kale, and chard; both brands were manufactured by the same processor. FDA has initiated a traceback investigation on the products of interest. To date, no single production code has been identified by the traceback.
For the estimated production code range that may have been available for purchase to ill consumers, records collected indicate that leafy greens used in these products were sourced from Salinas and Imperial Valley, CA, and Yuma, AZ.
FDA continues to evaluate the available information to determine if a single source, such as a farm or ranch, can be identified. Some challenges encountered in this traceback are those often seen in tracing back leafy greens. These include multiple consumer purchases of the same product on different days, lack of product lot codes tracked to retail stores from distribution centers, and the inability to directly link product lot codes to consumer purchase data.
Additionally, the range of possible production dates falls into the harvest transition period from central and Northern California to Southern California and Arizona growing regions, and as this product has multiple components, some production days of the product include ingredients co-mingled from multiple growing regions.