E. coli outbreak sickens 17 people; 75K pounds of packaged salad sold at Target, Walmart, other stores recalled

Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY

More than 75,000 pounds of packaged salad is being recalled after seven people were hospitalized with E. coli and two of them developed kidney failure, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday.

A New Jersey company, Missa Bay, issued the voluntary recall, worried that the romaine lettuce may be contaminated with the bacteria following an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Tuesday, the CDC issued an updated safety alert advising consumers to not eat any romaine lettuce harvested in Salinas, California and said it was continuing to investigate an E. coli outbreak that has infected 67 people from 19 states.

Related to the recall announced Nov. 21, the CDC reported 17 people have been infected with E. coli in eight states. No one has died.

E. coli outbreak alert: Do not eat any romaine lettuce from Salinas, California, CDC says

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The more than 30 packaged salad products with the tainted romaine were produced from Oct. 14 through Oct. 16 and were shipped to 22 states including Florida, Ohio and Virginia. Salads were sold in Target, Walmart, Sam's Club, Giant Eagle and other stores.

The affected recalled products have use-by dates between Oct. 28 and Nov. 1, the company said in a statement Thursday.

"The safety of our consumers is our number one priority. This voluntary recall is intended to address any product that may remain in consumers’ possession," the company statement said. "As always, please follow any use-by dates and dispose of any products that have exceeded these dates."

SOURCE U.S. Department of Agriculture; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

People who became sick in Maryland reported eating Ready Pac Foods Bistro Chicken Caesar Salad, but ill people in other states have not reported eating that salad, according to the CDC.

As part of an investigation into the outbreak, the Maryland Department of Health collected a package of the Caesar salad from a sick person’s home and found the lettuce tested positive for E. coli.

People usually get sick from E. coli three to four days after ingesting contaminated food. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

To prevent E. coli infection, the CDC recommends washing hands and cooking meat thoroughly to kill harmful germs, among other things. 

A complete list of the recalled products is available online. For questions about the recall, call 1-800-800-7822.

Contributing: Kelly Tyko

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: E. coli outbreak linked to contaminated salad products; 17 sick