Fresh Express Bagged Salads Recalled After More Than 640 Sick

Update: July 29, 2020

The count of illnesses has risen to over 640 and a lawsuit has been filed against Fresh Express and Berkot's Super Foods in Cook County, Illinois on behalf of John Silbersdorf.

According to a statement released by Ron Simon & Associates,

Mr. Silbersdorf purchased the tainted salad mix from the Berkot's Super Foods in Manteno, Illinois, on June 7, 2020, and consumed it thereafter.  Within days, he began experiencing the signature symptoms of cyclosporiasis including stomach cramps, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea.  He also suffered debilitating fatigue and weight loss of nearly 25 pounds.  He was forced to seek medical care, and tests later revealed that he had been infected with cyclospora parasite.

The original article from June, 30, 2020 continues below:

Last week Fresh Express Salad announced a voluntary recall of their Southwest Chopped Kits due to an undeclared presence of wheat, soy, cashews, and coconut which can cause allergic reactions. This week, the brand is voluntarily recalling all Fresh Express brand and private label brand bagged salad products produced at its Streamwood, IL facility that contain iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and/or carrots due to possible Cyclospora contamination according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over 200 illnesses have been reported so far.

The products were sold under the Aldi, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco, and Walmart store brands, as well as the Fresh Express brand in states in the Midwest. The products were shipped to the following states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

According to the company, the affected products are clearly marked with the letter "Z" at the beginning of the product code. The "Use by or Before" dates run through July 14.

What is Cyclospora?

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis according to the CDC. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue with symptoms usually lasting a few days. If you believe you have Cyclospora, see a healthcare provider. The recommended treatment is a combination of two antibiotics along with plenty of rest and fluids.

Apparently it is common for Cyclospora outbreaks to happen in the summer. According to NBC, a Cyclospora outbreak in 2018 linked to McDonald's salads sickened more than 500 people.

If you have purchased one of the affected products, dispose of it immediately or bring it back to the place of purchase for a refund. Consumers with questions, or to obtain refunds, may contact the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center toll-free at (800) 242-5472 on Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time.

Watch: Wilted Lettuce Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing