Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working with the Florida Department of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support an investigation of a dead bat that was found in a packaged salad purchased from a grocery store in Florida.

Florida map/National Atlas of the United States
Florida map/National Atlas of the United States

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. The deteriorated condition of the bat did not allow for CDC to definitively rule out whether this bat had rabies.

Transmission of rabies by eating a rabid animal is extremely uncommon, and the virus does not survive very long outside of the infected animal. CDC is supporting Florida local and state health officials in evaluating the people who found the bat in the salad. In this circumstance, the risk of rabies transmission is considered to be very low, but because it isn’t zero, the two people who ate salad from the package that contained the bat were recommended to begin post-exposure rabies treatment. Both people report being in good health and neither has any signs of rabies. CDC is not aware of any other reports of bat material found in packaged salads.

LISTEN: Rabies: A comprehensive interview with Pamela Wilson

The recall reads as follows:

Fresh Express is announcing a precautionary recall of a limited number of cases of Organic Marketside Spring Mix.

The item subject to the recall is 5 oz. Organic Marketside Spring Mix marketed in a clear container with production code G089B19 and best-if-used-by date of APR 14, 2017 located on the front label, and UPC code 6 8113132897 5 located on the bottom of the container. The recalled salads were distributed only to Walmart stores located in the Southeastern region of the United States.

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.

No other Marketside salads are included in the recall. Fresh Express salads are not subject to a recall.

Walmart acted quickly to remove the product from store shelves.

Consumers who may have already purchased the recalled product should discard and not consume it. A full refund is available where purchased or by calling the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center toll-free at (800) 242-5472 during the hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

Upon receiving notification, both Walmart and Fresh Express food safety and rapid response teams, in close coordination with regulatory authorities, acted immediately to review all relevant records, launch an intensive investigation and initiate product removal and recall procedures.

Fresh Express takes matters of food safety very seriously and rigorously complies with all food safety regulations including the proscribed Good Agricultural Practices. In addition, a range of stringent controls are in place during growing and harvesting to mitigate against field material from entering the raw product system. In manufacturing, additional controls including thorough washing and filtration systems as well as visual inspections that are designed to eliminate unwanted debris.

Recalled Product Details

  • Organic Marketside Spring Mix – 5 oz. clear container
  • Production Code of G089B19 and best-if-used-by date of APR 14 2017, located on the top label
  • UPC Code of 6 8113132897 5 located on the bottom of the container next to the bar code