Fresh Express recalled Organic Marketside Spring Mix from Walmart stores because a dead bat was found in a packaged salad in Florida.
Health officials in Florida and federal agencies are investigating. In the meantime, a recall has been issued for salads in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
The bat was so decomposed that laboratory tests could not determine if it had rabies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
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.”
The CDC said the risk of rabies transmission is low, but not zero. Both people who ate the salad have started treatment as if they were exposed to rabies. They are in good health so far.
The agency recommends that anyone who ate the salad and found “animal material” should contact their local health department. Otherwise, “people who have eaten the recalled salad and did not find animal material are not at risk and do not need to contact their health department.”
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.