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Whole Foods Market is recalling prepared foods items, including salads, pizza, sandwiches and wraps, sold in eight states, due to concerns about salmonella contamination. Baby spinach grown in a Long Island, New York farm is responsible for the outbreak. The company didn’t even know about the danger until routine sampling revealed the bacteria.

About Salmonella

Whole Foods SpinachSalmonella Honey SmacksSalmonella infection (salmonellosis) is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. The bacteria usually live in animal and human intestines and shed through feces. Consuming contaminated water or food spreads the infection to humans. Symptoms last two to seven days. Diarrhea may last up to 10 days, however, it may take several months before bowels return to normal. However, salmonella can develop into typhoid fever. This is a deadly disease. About 300 people get typhoid fever in the United States each year. About 22 million cases of typhoid fever and 200,000 related deaths occur worldwide each year.

Whole Foods Spinach Recall

This Whole Foods spinach recall is from Satur Farms. Routine sampling by New York and Florida agriculture departments found salmonella. The recall impacts 55 products sold across eight states, including Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. The list includes salads, pizzas, sandwiches, and wraps. Additionally, the notice states, anything containing baby spinach from salad bars or hot bars at Whole Foods, purchased through January 23, should be discarded immediately.
These recalls like the Whole Foods spinach one will keep happening since the national food supply complicates bacteria location identification. Farmers grow food at a central location before packing it, preserving it and shipping it around the country. There are multiple ways contaminates can happen during the food cultivation process. Even the extra phase of processing spinach (even the triple-washed kind) can provide more chances for bacteria to sneak in. Bacteria-tainted leaves from a previous manufacturing run leave behind traces on the belts that the new leaves could pick up. Plus, eating foods like spinach or lettuce raw doesn’t kill bacteria. Produce washing is important.

Likely More Victims

Many people sickened by the Whole Foods spinach may not have reported it yet. Salmonella symptoms don’t usually manifest until two to three weeks after consumption. This provides identification issues since people eat many different types of food in a two to three week period. Plus, complex foods like a sandwich or burrito may hide foods within it. Then, fresh produce has a short shelf life, especially quickly-spoiling bagged salads, so by the time the inspector investigates, the evidence is thrown out.

Also, many people don’t read the packaging to identify the maker of the spinach. Without the bag or farm lot number, it is difficult to track the company that produced the spinach. Even if a victim saved the tainted spinach and bag, chances are farmers already harvested the crop. Now, investigators still can’t prove which section of fresh produce has salmonella.

If Injured by the Outbreak

sick old manFood poisoning lawsuits play an important role in keeping food systems safe. These lawsuits hold negligent corporations accountable. Plus, it shows lawmakers that food safety is imperative.  When outbreaks caused by bacteria or viruses injure people, most of the time it is from a manufacturer being negligent. The company is fully aware of their potentially dangerous practices and do not correct it. Thus, customers’ lives are endangered.

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