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Baby Arugula Recalled at Publix Stores Due to Potential Salmonella Contamination

Posted in Outbreaks & Recalls,Salmonella on June 29, 2024

Baby arugula recalled due to potential contamination with Salmonella bacteria impacts certain Publix store locations. Including Publix GreenWise Market locations.

The grower, Green Life Farms issued a voluntary recall.

Here’s what we know about the Publix baby arugula recall.

The Baby Arugula Recall

This recall involves Green Life Farms’ 4-ounce, clear plastic packages of baby arugula. Products are marked with Lot #LW15124 stamped on the top of the package. The “sell by date” is 6/15/24. However, when stored properly, the product may remain in consumers’ refrigerators for quite some time.

Affected product was available for sale at select Publix location since May 31, 2024.

Consumers are instructed to check their pantries for this recalled product.

Why Was the Baby Arugula Recalled at Publix?

Routine testing is not just the responsibility for regulatory bodies. Farms also play a role in monitoring product safety. The FDA does conduct some testing; however, they cannot test every lot from every farm. These are usually done randomly or as part of routine inspections.

The farms too, must include testing as part of their safety practices. This includes testing products and/or environmental samples to identify potential contamination events as early as possible.

The earlier, the better!

In the case of this Green Life Farms baby arugula recall, the company discovered the problem during routine testing. When this routine testing revealed the potential presence of harmful and potentially life-threatening Salmonella bacteria, the company took immediate action.

According to Green Life Farms, this specific lot is the only concern. “Additional harvests remain unaffected.”

How Does Salmonella Contaminate Leafy Greens?

When you think of Salmonella, most people associate the illness with poultry.

While it is true that poultry are a significant Salmonella vector, the bacteria can make its way into any food product.

Cross-contamination during food preparation is a huge vehicle of Salmonella bacteria. However, Salmonella bacteria can infect any food at any point in the supply chain.

In fact, leafy greens and other vegetables are very vulnerable to Salmonella and other harmful bacteria contamination from tainted irrigation water, transportation trucks, and processing facilities.

In this case, Green Life Farms did not indicate what part of the supply chain potentially impacted the safety of the product.

What Salmonella Infection Symptoms Should You Look For?

Salmonella bacteria are responsible for around 1.35 million illnesses each year, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This results in 26,500 hospitalizations and about 420 deaths in the United States each year.

Common symptoms include diarrhea (sometimes bloody), fever, and stomach cramps. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and/or headache.

These symptoms can begin anywhere from six hours to six days after exposure and can last around four to seven days.

Most people can recover on their own without medical intervention. While antibiotic treatment is available for higher risk populations and those at increased risk for severe infection, most people can treat symptoms and stay hydrated to recover.

Those at greater risk of severe illness include children under 5 years of age, the elderly, and those with a weakened immune system.

If symptoms become severe, you should reach out to your healthcare provider.

Call your healthcare provider if you have:

  • Diarrhea and fever higher than 102 °F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody stools
  • Prolonged vomiting that prevents you from keeping liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration

Dehydration is a major factor when it comes to diarrheal illnesses.

Typical signs of dehydration include:

  • Making very little urine
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Dizziness when standing up
  • Crying without tears

While most people can recover and get back to normal within about a week. Others may not experience that same quick bounce back to normal.

In some cases, infections can affect bowel habits (frequency and consistency of poop) for several months after initial infection.

Others could develop a type of joint issue known as reactive arthritis. This is caused by Salmonella bacteria entering the body beyond the intestinal tract and affects the joints and connective tissues. Not only does reactive arthritis cause joint pain. It can also cause eye irritation and painful urination.

No Reports of Illness So Far from This Baby Arugula Recalled Notice

At this time there are no reports of illness associated with this recall. However, it can take several weeks for an illness to be categorized as part of an outbreak.

Hopefully no one becomes sick from this potential contamination. However, reporting your illness (even if mild) can help investigators with traceback activities in the event that additional lots or products are impacted.

Why Should I Report My Illness

Most people recover from foodborne illnesses on their own. And fully recover.

Others may not be so lucky.

Every foodborne illness case provides clues to investigators to help track down the source of the problem. This can narrow or expand the scope for identifying the food vehicle responsible for those illnesses.

A person with a healthy immune system may not have significant issues.

An elderly person, a young child, or other vulnerable population may not be so lucky. For those people, a hospitalization and long-term effects may be a real possibility.

The more information investigators can get and the earlier they can get it impacts how quickly a potentially dangerous product can be removed from the food supply. The faster that happens, the fewer people are exposed to potentially dangerous food.

Have You or a Loved One Been Affected by the Baby Arugula Recalled from Green Life Farms?

If you or a loved one has been affected by the baby arugula recalled from Green Life Farms, you may have questions. An experienced Salmonella Lawyer can help. The Lange Law Firm, PLLC has helped countless families with cases just like yours.

Recovering from illness and putting your life back together after significant illness is hard. The Lange Law Firm, PLLC can navigate the legal system while you focus on your health and your family.

Call today for a free consultation to go over the details of your case. Don’t wait. Call (833) 330-3663 or fill out the online submission form.

By: Heather Van Tassell (contributing writer, non-lawyer)