Fresh Express recalling certain lettuce products

David Salazar
Managing Editor
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Fresh Express is voluntarily recalling several branded and private label products from its Streamwood, Ill., facility out of what it said was an abundance of caution amid an ongoing Midwestern outbreak of cyclospora. Recalled items include products that contain iceberg lettuce, red cabbage and/or carrot ingredients. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have registered more than 20 illnesses in connection with the current outbreak of the illness, which is caused by a parasite. The company noted that patients displaying symptoms — which include severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, body aches and fatigue — can be treated with antibiotics, with many responding quickly to treatment. 

The recall includes salads whose product codes, located in the upper right-hand corner of the package, start with the letter Z. Products within the scope of the recall include products with iceberg lettuce, red cabbage and/or carrots that display the code Z178 or a lower number. The products were distributed between June 6-26 in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. 

Fresh Express’ recall follows efforts taken by retailer Hy-Vee, Aldi and Albertsons banner Jewel-Osco to recall their store brand garden salads, which the companies worked with the Food and Drug Administration to complete. Unlike Fresh Express, these retailers had illnesses directly linked to their products, though the FDA cautioned that there could be more retailers and products involved as its investigation expands.