Freshway Foods is recalling bagged romaine lettuce sold to wholesalers, food service outlets, and in-store salad bars and delis because of a possible link to illness caused by E.coli bacteria. The recall is being supported by the FDA.
Freshway does not produce prepackaged romaine or salad mixes sold to retail consumers in supermarkets. These products are not included in the recall, but consumers are warned not not to eat “grab and go” salads sold in store salad bars and delis at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh stores.
To date 19 cases of E.coli infection have been confirmed in Michigan, Ohio, and New York, including 12 people who were hospitalized and 3 with life-threatening conditions. The New York State Public Health Laboratory found E.coli 0145 in an unopened bag of Freshway shredded romaine lettuce on May 5.
Three of the patients with E. coli 0145 have developed a serious form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Most likely to occur in young children and the elderly, the condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.
College students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Ohio State in Columbus and Daemen College in Amherst, N.Y., are among those affected by the outbreak.
Symptoms of E.coli infection include severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea, which may be bloody. The FDA and CDC urge patients who are experiencing these symptoms to contact their health care professionals.
Consumers with questions may call Freshway Foods’ information desk at 1-888-361-7106 (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, M-F) or visit their web site for updates.