Fresh Express announced yesterday that the company was recalling romaine lettuce-based salads with use-by dates of May 13-16 and an “S” in the product code for potential Salmonella contamination.  

According to a company press release, a package of Fresh Express Hearts of Romaine Salad with a use-by date of May 15 was confirmed positive for Salmonella during a random test conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Symptoms of Salmonella gastroenteritis include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, nausea, and/or vomiting.

The romaine salad mixes were distributed to retailers in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nevada, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Although it is unlikely that the recalled salads are still on store shelves, the Fresh Express recall notice is intended for retailers as well as consumers who may have the products in their refrigerators.  The company issued the following instructions for anyone in possession of the recalled romaine salad products:

Instructions for Consumers:

Check your refrigerator for Fresh Express Romaine-based salads with use-by dates of May 13th through May 16th and an “S” in the Product Code.  The Use-by Date is found in the upper right hand corner of the package with the Product Code located immediately underneath.  For Fresh Express Gourmet Cafe Salads, the Use-by Date and Product Code are located on the bottom of the salad bowl.

Consumers who may have potentially affected product are asked to make a note of the Use-by Date and Product Code, immediately dispose of the product, and contact a Fresh Express consumer representative toll-free at (800) 242-5472, 24 hours per day, Monday – Friday, to obtain a full refund.  

Instructions for Retailers:

All Product Codes indicated are well-beyond their Use-by Date, however, retailers are asked to reconfirm with their distribution centers and all individual stores to ensure that no product remains in their inventory or at store locations.  A separate letter and instructions will be forwarded to all relevant Fresh Express customers. For additional details, retailers are asked to contact their Fresh Express customer service representative.