Parasite risk in salads and wraps sold at Kroger, Walgreens, Trader Joe's

Published: Jul. 31, 2018 at 5:05 PM CDT
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Federal officials issued a public health alert Monday night warning people to watch for signs of parasitic infections if they have eaten any of more than two dozen varieties of wraps and salads sold nationwide by retailers including Kroger and Trader Joe’s.

In a public health alert issued Monday night, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) cited worries that beef, pork and poultry salad and wrap products may be infected by a parasite known as cyclospora cayetanenis.

Distributed nationwide by Caito Foods of Indianapolis, the possibly tainted products were sold by retailers including Kroger, Trader Joe's and Walgreens. Caito learned of the problem when its supplier, Fresh Express, notified it of a recall involving some of the lettuce in products packaged under a variety of brand names.

All of the 25 product varieties are now out of date, produced from July 15 to 18 with the "Best By," "Enjoy by," Best if Sold By" or "Sell By" dates ranging from July 18 through July 23.

The distributor of the ready-to-eat products said lettuce supplied by Fresh Express is responsible for the health alert. Indianapolis-based distributor Caito Foods LLC reported that officials with Fresh Express had issued a recall notice for chopped romaine that was used in the wraps and salads. The products are packaged under a variety of brand names.

It is unclear whether the Fresh Express recall is only for business-to-business romaine sales — such as those to other food producers, restaurants and facilities such as hospitals and schools — or if it includes products sold directly to consumers.

"FSIS is concerned that some products may be in consumers' refrigerators and that consumers may be at risk due to the length of the cyclospora incubation period," which ranges from two to 14 days, the agency stated.

Click here for the USDA public health alert: