Some people eating packaged salad in Florida had the unfortunate experience of finding a dead bat in the container along with their food. Fresh Express, which packaged the food and sold it to Walmart in the southeast, issued a recall on Saturday as a result.
The two people who ate the salad with the animal content in it are being evaluated, and the bat itself was sent to a lab for rabies testing. According to the CDC, which is assisting in the investigation of the incident:
The bat was sent to the CDC rabies lab for laboratory testing because bats in the United States sometimes have been found to have this disease. The deteriorated condition of the bat did not allow for CDC to definitively rule out whether this bat had rabies.
Transmission of rabies by eating a rabid animal is extremely uncommon, and the virus does not survive very long outside of the infected animal. CDC is supporting Florida local and state health officials in evaluating the people who found the bat in the salad. In this circumstance, the risk of rabies transmission is considered to be very low, but because it isn’t zero, the two people who ate salad from the package that contained the bat were recommended to begin post-exposure rabies treatment. Both people report being in good health and neither has any signs of rabies. CDC is not aware of any other reports of bat material found in packaged salads.
ABC 11 released this information regarding the recall by Fresh Express:
The salads were sold in a clear container with production code G089B19 and a best-if-used-by date of April 14, 2017 located on the front label.
The recalled salads were distributed only to Walmart stores located in the Southeastern region of the United States. All remaining packages of salad from the same lot have been removed from all store locations where the salad was sold.
Only the salads mentioned in the recall had a chance of being affected, so consumers should not be concerned unless they have eaten food from that potentially contaminated lot.
Consumers who may have already purchased the recalled product should discard and not consume it. A full refund is available where purchased or by calling the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center toll-free at (800) 242-5472 during the hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.