A new outbreak of E.coli infections have been linked to a Salinas, California-based company's salad kit after eight people have fallen ill across three states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Health officials are warning consumers to avoid Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp chopped salad kits after it was determined that it was likely the source of the new infections. Although romaine lettuce is one of the ingredients in the salad kit, it is still unknown if this outbreak is related to a current nationwide outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from the Salinas, California, growing region.
CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the FDA have been investigating the multi-state outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. The outbreak is said to be caused by a different strain of E. coli than the one linked to the romaine lettuce.
The illnesses for the outbreak were first reported on Nov. 5 to Nov. 15. Three people have been hospitalized, including one who has developed kidney failure. So far, no deaths have been reported.
Health officials are advising consumers not to eat or sell the salad kids with the best-before date up to and including Dec. 7. The package will be labeled with the date and UPC 0 71279 30906 4, beginning with lot code Z, on the front of the bag in the top right corner.
If you have the product, the CDC advises you to throw it away and clean the refrigerator in which it was stored.
Health officials are continuing to investigate to determine which ingredient in the mix was contaminated.
This comes just after health officials told people just before Thanksgiving to avoid romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, California, because of another food poisoning outbreak that has already sickened over 100 people across 23 states.
Officials urged Americans not to eat the leafy green if the label doesn't say where it was grown. They also urged supermarkets and restaurants not to serve or sell the lettuce, unless they're sure it was grown elsewhere. The warning applies to all types of romaine from the Salinas region, including whole heads, hearts and pre-cut salad mixes.
Officials said their investigation led to farms in Salinas and that they are looking for the source of E. coli tied to the illnesses.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.