Fresh Express recall: salmonella in store-bought romaine lettuce salads

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Romaine lettuce recallRomaine lettuce is not having a good month. Last week, an e. coli outbreak that sickened more than 30 people was blamed on romaine lettuce shipped to such places as restaurants and cafeterias. Now, Fresh Express, a brand that is widely sold in grocery stores across the country, is recalling a variety of its packaged lettuce products over salmonella concerns.

The bad news for consumers is the announcement is less a warning and more of an after-the-fact notification since the expiration dates were between May 13 and May 16. Among the varieties being recalled by Chiquita International-owned Fresh Express are: 5-Lettuce Mix, American, Asian Supreme, Caesar, Double Carrots, Fancy Greens, Green & Crisp and several with the name "Romaine" in it. A full list, including UPC codes is available on the the Food & Drug Administration's recall site.
Fresh Express said the packages were sold in the following states: Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nevada, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

The FDA said the company issued the recall after a single package of Fresh Express Hearts of Romaine Salad tested positive for Salmonella during random sampling by the FDA.

Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning include fever, nausea and a variety of other gastrointestinal problems. Young children, the elderly and frail are at greatest risk of more serious infections.

The FDA urges consumers to check their refrigerators for Fresh Express bags or bowls subject to the recall. In addition to having the use-by dates listed above, they will have an "S" in their product code, the FDA said. If you have one, you asked to dispose of it. To get a refund, call Fresh Express on any weekday at any time at (800) 242-5472.

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