Dead Bat Found In Pre-Packaged Fresh Express Salad Prompts Recall

After two consumers ate a salad, they came across a decomposed bat inside the container of the pre-packaged spring mix they had just ingested. This ended up as a case for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because bats can carry rabies.

The dead bat was found inside a container of Fresh Express Organic Marketside Spring Mix in Florida. The carcass was sent to the CDC for testing to see if it had rabies, but the bat was too deteriorated to rule out the disease.

Despite the CDC claiming the consumers’ risk for contracting rabies was extremely low, the two people who ate the salad were recommended to undergo treatment for rabies. While the risk was low, it was not at zero, according to the report from CNN News.

The packages of Fresh Express salad mix involved were recalled by the company. They were sold at Walmart stores in several states, which include Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. According to the CDC, the people are fine and show no sign of contracting rabies.

Fresh Express Salad Recall

The salad that is recalled has the production code G089B19 and a best-if-used-by date of April 14, 2017 on the front label of the container. It also has the UPC code 6 8113132897 5 on the bottom of the container. It was out of an abundance of caution that the Fresh Express people recalled the entire batch.

Fresh Express released a statement which included:

“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.”

According to the report from NPR News, the recall of the salad batch was announced on Saturday. The CDC reported that the two consumers had eaten some of the salad before noticing the “decomposed organism in a 5-ounce clear container of the Organic Marketside Spring Mix,” reports NPR.

It was only out of an abundance of caution that Fresh Express recalled all Organic Marketside Spring Mix salads from the same production lot. The product was distributed “exclusively to Walmart stores.” Walmart has pulled the salad containers involved in the recall from their shelves. There are no other Marketside salads that are involved in this recall.

An investigation into the matter is underway by the FDA and CDC in tandem.

Despite many believing that bats are notorious for carrying rabies, according to Bat, “bats contact rabies far less than other animals.” The statistics indicate that “less than 1/2 of 1% of all bats may contract the disease.” Bat World discussed many of the fallacies people have come to believe about bats through the years.

One of those fallacies was that you can catch rabies from being near a bat with the disease, which is not true. You can’t catch rabies just from being near a rabid bat, as this disease is nearly always transmitted through a bite. According to Bat World, “although rare, exposures can also occur from contact between infected saliva or nervous tissues and open wounds or the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth.” This is more than likely why the CDC put the risk of contracting rabies very low for the two consumers who ate the salad.

While it is thought by many that “hundreds of people die of bat rabies each year in the U.S.,” statistics show that there are only one to two humans that die from this yearly in this nation. Worldwide 300,000 people die from rabies every year and most contract rabies via a rabid dog. Due to the success of the rabies vaccination for pets in the U.S., contracting rabies from dogs and cats are rare in this country.

[Featured Image by Eric Gay/AP Images]