Image of a salad and head of a bat
Bat Found In Salad; Image Courtesy of Boing Boing,

Two people got the shock of their lives when they opened a bag of “Organic Marketside Spring Mix” salad from a Florida Walmart, only to find a dead bat inside. They contacted authorities, which prompted an investigation by “the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to see if the animal had rabies.” Additionally, the CDC is also working with the “Florida department of heath and the federal Food and Drug Administration” to find out how a dead bat ended up inside a sealed package of salad.

In addition to the CDC investigation, Fresh Express, the company whose packaged salad contained the bat, has “issued a recall of their product sold in the southeastern part of the United States.” How do customers know if they have a recalled product, though? Well, the recall includes bags of salad with a “best-used date of April 14 and production code G089B19.” To quell consumer concerns, Fresh Express also issued a statement, saying they take “matters of food safety very seriously and rigorously complies with all food safety regulation.”

Image of the word 'Walmart'
Walmart; Image Courtesy of NBC4i,

But what about the poor people that were unlucky enough to end up with the dead bat in their salad? Are there any health concerns they should be worried about? Are they safe to be around other people if the bat had rabies? Fortunately, according to the CDC, it’s “extremely uncommon for these individuals to have contracted any illness from the decayed bat.” Nonetheless, they’re “exercising extreme caution” and urging consumers “who ate the packaged salad in question but didn’t consume any “animal material” to reach out to Fresh Express to demand a full refund.” Additionally, they’re also advising consumers to reach out their health department for evaluation if they ate the recalled product and found animal material in it.

For now, all recalled products have been removed from Walmart shelves, and the FDA issued a statement on their website to reassure consumers that states:

“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 is 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.”

Concerned consumers looking for a full refund or more information about the recall can contact the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center toll-free at (800) 242-5472.


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