Here we go again…another serious food scare. This is a U.S. Department of Agriculture Class I recall, ie, “a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

This time it’s over 90 tons of ready-to-eat salads and wraps with ham or chicken. You read right. 90 tons! That is a LOT of salad stuff. The CDC reports that it has found toxic E. coli in Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken and Mexicali Salad with Chili Lime Chicken sold at Trader Joe’s grocery stores.

At the time of this writing there are at least 26 people who have been infected in Arizona, California and Washington. Over one-fourth have been hospitalized and two have developed serious kidney problems that could lead to kidney failure. We suspect the numbers are likely to rise as more people become aware of the extent of the contamination.

Distribution centers for the wraps and salads are in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. How far the affected food has traveled beyond those distribution sites is yet to be determined.

The companies involved include the Glass Onion Catering company and Atherstone Foods, both of Richmond, California. Here is a list of products that may be contaminated:

  • 12 oz. packages of  “delish pan pacific chop salad”
  • 13.4 oz. packages of  “delish California style grilled chicken salad”
  • 9.9 oz. packages of  “delish uncured applewood smoked ham & cheese wrap”
  • 10.5 oz. packages of “delish grilled chicken caesar wrap”
  • 10.9 oz. packages of  “delish southwestern chicken wrap”
  • 11.5 oz. packages of  “delish greek brand low-calorie grilled chicken wrap”
  • 9.9 oz. packages of  “delish white chicken club wrap”
  • 11.2 oz. packages of  “delish asian style chicken wrap”
  • 13.4 oz. packages of  “atherstone Fine Foods Southwestern Style White Chicken Wrap with Chimichurri Sauce”
  • 10.5 oz. packages of  “atherstone Fine Foods Asian Style White Chicken Wrap with Mango Vinaigrette”
  • 9.9 oz. packages of  “atherstone Fine Foods Grilled White Chicken Caesar Wrap with Caesar Dressing”
  • 10.7 oz. packages of  “super fresh Foods California Grilled Chicken Salad, Low Fat Mendocino Mustard Dressing”
  • 10.7 oz. packages of  “Lunch Spot Southwestern Style Chicken Wrap, Chile & Lime  Dressing”
  • 9.2 oz. packages of  “super fresh Foods Pan Pacific Chopped Chicken Salad, Ginger Soy Dressing”
  • 10.7 oz. plastic containers of “TRADER JOE’S Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken.”
  • 11 oz. plastic containers of “TRADER JOE’S MEXICALI SALAD with Chili Lime Chicken.”
 
  • Delish Greek Style Orzo Salad (6.oz) Clam Shell/ UPC#49022 74630/ Distributed to Northern Calif. Walgreens
  • Delish Asian Style Noodle Salad (6. oz)  Clam Shell/ UPC# 49022 74628/ Distributed to Northern Calif. Walgreens
  • Delish Vegetarian Wrap (11.3oz) Cellophane/ UPC# 49022 55349/ Distributed to Northern Calif. Walgreens
  • Classic Greek Salad (9. oz) Clam Shell/ UPC# 0083 5794/ Distributed to Northern Calif. and Northern Nevada Trader Joe’s
  • Southwestern  Salad Kit (20 Lbs box)/ No UPC#/ Distributed to Northern Calif. Whole Foods
  • Wheat Berry Salad Kit (20 Lbs box)/ No UPC#/ Distributed to Northern Calif. Whole Foods 

The companies supply food to Trader Joes, Super Fresh Goods and Delish as well as Walgreens and Whole Foods. It is still early in the investigation so it is hard to know which outlets have been affected and in which states.

We have experienced food poisoning with chicken and know first hand that it can be a very serious situation. In Joe’s case it led to severe diarrhea, fever, dehydration and hallucinations. It took almost two weeks to recover.

          FACTS TO CONSIDER:

  • Symptoms can develop within one day or take as long as 10 days to show up. The most typical pattern is within three to four days of exposure the person starts feeling ill.
  • Early symptoms include stomach pain or cramps followed by serious diarrhea.
  • Be especially vigilant for symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). If the infected person starts urinating less frequently, feels exhausted and loses color in cheeks or lower eyelids seek immediate medical attention.

If you are like us you are probably getting very frustrated with yet another food contamination problem. According to the CDC “each year 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.” That seems unacceptable to us. The FDA and the USDA need to protect the food supply more effectively, in our opinion.

What do you think? Have you ever experienced food poisoning? What was it like? Were there other complications that lingered, such as arthritis, diabetes, kidney problems or prolonged GI discomfort? Share your own story below in the comment section. 

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  1. dell
    Reply

    I’d be interested in whether organic produce is immune to this sort of thing, or if it also can’t be trusted?

  2. Barbara
    Reply

    Excellent advice, Sherry.
    I hope you reported the employees who did not wash their hands.

  3. Robert H. S.
    Reply

    I, too, am getting more than a little frustrated at the Governments lackadaisical “attitude and excuse” that they do not have the “funds” to follow up on the food processing entities that deal with people’s food stuffs that they know have had “problems” in the past. Yes, I know that they only have so many inspectors and they are spread thin, but God knows, there is so much waste and “spinning” wheels in the bureaucracy, that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing….. let alone even know they have two hands!!! Well, enough rant, let’s hope they can get a handle on this situation in a most expeditious manner!

  4. Sherry
    Reply

    My solutions is NOT to buy all this prepared food. Make your own. I get my salad fixings and soak them in vinegar water for 10/20 mins. I NEVER eat at a salad bar. This is getting scarey.
    Although yesterday I was in 2 different public restrooms and a customer was in stall, came out and went right out the door, got cart and started shopping in produce aisle. Another was in stall, came out and went right back to work. Neither stopped at sink. Second one worked in food prep area. Needless to say, I will not buy food at that food bar and I always use a wipe or cover groc. carts with paper. I wipe down my purchased items when I get home. Cereal is taken out of box and I just use bag. I don’t want someone else’s germs in my cupboard. A little more work, but I feel it is worth it.

  5. Sally K
    Reply

    About 12 years ago I had food poisoning I traced to some red leaf lettuce I’d obtained from the grocery store in SE Wisconsin. I’d never been so sick, and I remember thinking after nonstop vomiting that “if I threw up one more time” I could very well die. It was that violent. It took me days to recover, and made me somewhat hoarse. I had been a singer in a choir, but I never could sing freely again. And, I began to have digestive problems which led, eventually, my having to give up NINE foods I ate regularly. I don’t know if that came from the food poisoning, or if it came from a bout of using prescription painkillers for an abscessed tooth, plus large quantities of Ibuprofen for three days.
    I’m always careful to WASH my lettuce and any veggies from a takeout salad bar ever since.

  6. CSR
    Reply

    Two weeks ago at a restaurant “Tea House” that served lunch to a group of 42 women in Denton, Texas, thirty four of the women reported stomach pains, vomiting, and diarrhea within 12 to 36 hours of eating at the establishment. The city Health Department was alerted and spoke to each of the women affected. Two women required medical attention. No conclusions as to the source of contamination was determined. The experience for me personally was miserable – I wondered if I should seek emergency room treatment but didn’t.

  7. J.L.
    Reply

    I was sick for three days with severe diarrhea, dizziness, and nausea after eating Trader Joe’s chicken fried rice this week. Any connection to the items listed in this article? Geez, afraid to eat ANYTHING anymore!!! Think I’ll stick with my original idea of preparing my own food rather than getting ready-made stuff…THIS is what happens when I do….

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