Health officials link salmonella outbreak to packaged greens

By: - July 17, 2021 1:30 pm

Three of the nine BrightFarms products that have been recalled following a salmonella outbreak in Illinois and Wisconsin (FDA photos)

An outbreak of salmonella traced to pre-packaged salad from a producer in Illinois has sickened four people in Wisconsin and five in Illinois, state health officials reported Friday.

One person has been hospitalized due to the food-borne bacterial illness, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).

In a press release, DHS said the outbreak — which started between June 10 and June 15 — had been traced to salad greens from BrightFarms Inc. in Rochelle, Ill. The federal Food and Drug Administration said Friday that BrightFarms had issued a voluntary recall for nine of its branded products, all of them grown at the company’s greenhouse facilities in Rochelle. The products are distributed to retailers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana.

“At this time, DHS urges consumers not to purchase, eat, or serve BrightFarms branded pre-packaged salad greens,” stated DHS Communicable Diseases Supervisor Ryan Wozniak. “Consumers and food service establishments who have BrightFarms salad greens with any ‘best-by’ date should not eat, serve or sell any of the recalled products.”

According to the FDA, Wisconsin retailers that sold the recalled products were Pick ‘n Save, Metro Market, Copps, Tadych’s and some Walmart stores. The agency said other retailers might also have carried the items.

The salad greens are packaged in disposable plastic containers and carry a label that says “fresh from Rochelle, Ill.,” according to DHS. Health officials are advising consumers to check their refrigerators for leftover Bright Farms products and throw them away. Consumers should clean produce drawers and refrigerator surfaces thoroughly after disposing of the products, DHS stated.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, abdominal pains, fever and vomiting starting six hours after eating contaminated foods. Symptoms can last for several days. Patients might require extra fluids to prevent dehydration, according to DHS, but most people recover from salmonellosis on their own.

Health officials are encouraging consumers who experience symptoms to contact their health care providers as well as their local health department.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Erik Gunn
Erik Gunn

Senior Reporter Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary. An East Coast native, he previously covered labor for The Milwaukee Journal after reporting for newspapers in upstate New York and northern Illinois. He's a graduate of Beloit College (English Comp.) and the Columbia School of Journalism. Off hours he is the Examiner's resident Springsteen and Jackson Browne fanboy and model railroad nerd.