Fresh Express issued a product recall, Apr. 8, for some of the prepackaged salad mix after a bat was found in a bag sold at a Walmart store. A news release from the company is recalling the five-ounce Organic Spring Mix.
The mix has the production code G089B19 and is best-if-used-by-date of Apr. 14. The label is located on the front of the package, and the UPC code is 6 8113132897 5, found on the container's bottom.
Fresh Express Recalls Prepackaged Salad
The recalled salads were distributed at Walmart only. The stores selling the packages in this batch are located in the Southeastern region of the United States, from North Carolina to Virginia.
Upon receiving notifications, both Fresh Express and Walmart acted immediately to review all relevant records on the matter, launching an intensive investigation to better understand how the dexterous matter made it to the shelves.
The Fresh Express news release referred to the recall as "extraneous animal matter."
"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," noted the release.
However, the CDC underlined that the animal was referring to a bat.
"Two people in Florida reported eating some of the salad before the bat was found. The bat was sent to the CDC rabies lab for laboratory testing because bats in the United States sometimes have been found to have this disease," noted the CDC report page.
According to the same report, the CDC didn't have enough data to rule out the possibility of rabies, as the bat was in a highly deteriorated condition.
Florida health officials have launched an investigation into the matter after the product recall, with the support from the CDC and FDA representatives.
Additionally, transmission of rabies by eating an animal who suffered from this condition is very uncommon, as the virus usually doesn't survive long outside the infected animal.
Considering this, the risks of getting infected is very low for anyone who may have consumed the salad from that batch. State health officials, however, are currently evaluating the people who filed the complaint.
The deadly rabies virus is endemic to bats across the United States. The virus is rarely contracted by humans but the investigation is still necessary however low the chances are.
The CDC also added that they haven't heard about any other case of bat material found in packaged salads.
Rabies, A Preventable Disease
Rabies is a preventable viral disease. Most often, it is transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Most of the cases reported to the CDC each year involve wild animals such as foxes, bats, or raccoons.
Once the virus gets into the central nervous system, it causes disease in the brain and, ultimately, the death of its host. Early symptoms are similar to the ones caused by various other diseases, such as headache, fever, and general discomfort.
Some more specific symptoms can include anxiety, confusion, or insomnia, as well as partial paralysis or hallucinations.
There is a vaccine that can be used to stop the spreading of this disease, available both pre-exposure and post-exposure.