The Maryland Department of Health is advising consumers to not eat Ready Pac Bistro Bowl Chicken Caesar Salads with specific lot numbers, after seven cases of E. coli were reported in the state.
All of the patients reported eating the Ready Pac brand salad sold at Sam’s Clubs in Maryland, and when an unopened salad purchased by one of the consumers was tested, E. coli was identified on romaine lettuce, according to a news release from the state health department.
The lot number is 255406963, and other salads have been distributed to “many other retailers,” according to the Maryland department, although no other retailers have been named in connection to the outbreak. Additional lab tests are pending, according to the agency.
In a statement by Bonduelle Fresh Americas, which markets the Ready Pac brand, the company said it is working with the Maryland agency to identify the “possible root cause to reduce possible impacts to consumers.”
The salads linked to the illnesses have use-by dates of Oct. 31, according to the Maryland department.
“Because the products identified are already significantly past their use-by dates, we are not taking any recall action, and it does not affect any product currently on store shelves,” according to the Bonduelle Fresh Americas statement. “As always, please abide by any use-by dates, and do not consume any products that have exceeded these dates.”
The company tests all leafy greens for pathogens in the fields before harvest, including E. coli O157:H7, which has been identified as the pathogen in the Maryland cases.
“During this time frame, we did not have any positive test results for E. coli O157:H7,” according to the Bonduellle Fresh Americas statement.
The salads have Universal Product Codes of 7774527249.