“The evidence points to a salad mix containing iceberg and romaine lettuce, as well as carrots and red cabbage as the source of the outbreak reported in Iowa and Nebraska,” said Steven Mandernach, Chief of the Food and Consumer Safety Bureau of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. “Iowans should continue eating salads as the implicated prepackaged mix is no longer in the state’s food supply chain.”
Iowa gave no word on the brand involved or where the salad came from.
The investigation found a connection to the salad mix in 80 percent of case patients.
Nebraska state epidemiologist Dr. Tom Safranek told Food Safety News that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has hosted conference calls on the investigation three times a week that involve nearly 90 personnel from affected states.
Safranek said the common source was “most certainly” pre-washed, bagged salad mix, and it’s highly likely that there’s a common distributor in Iowa and Nebraska. However, it’s still “too early” to name the restaurants and grocery stores involved.
Federal investigators are hoping to obtain enough information from states to perform a complete traceback of the salad mix.
Food Safety News will continue updating this story as it develops.© Food Safety News