Whole Foods Recalls Ready-To-Eat Salads; E. coli Potential

Whole Foods Market’s Northern California region recalled ready-to-eat Artichoke Wheatberry Salad and Southwest SooFoo Salad in response to a recall issued by Glass Onion Catering. The salads are being recalled as a preventive measure because they have the potential to be contaminated with E. coli O157:h7, a bacteria that may cause illness or death.


Symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection may include abdominal cramps and diarrhea, which is often bloody. Most infected people recover within a week. However, some may develop complications that require hospitalization. Young children and the elderly are at highest risk for a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which includes kidney failure.


Clues that a person is developing HUS include decreased frequency of urination, feeling very tired, and losing pink color in cheeks and inside the lower eyelids. Persons with HUS should be hospitalized because their kidneys may stop working and they may develop other serious problems. Most persons with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent damage or death.


To date, 26 illnesses have been reported in three states, Arizona, California, and Washington. However, none of the illnesses are linked to products specifically sold at Whole Foods Market.


Customers may have purchased the Artichoke Wheatberry Salad and Southwest SooFoo Salad from the fresh deli case, salad bar and/or in pre-packed pint or half-pint containers in the Prepared Foods department. Both products have been pulled from all venues and carry an expiration date between November 9 and November 13. The recalled salads were sold in ten of the company’s 40 Northern California stores.


See the Recall


See also Medical Law Perspectives, July 2012 Report: Foodborne Illness: When Grabbing a Bite Can Be Deadly