Couple that found dead bat in prepackaged salad must undergo rabies testing

bat in tree Wikimedia Commons 326x210 Couple that found dead bat in prepackaged salad must undergo rabies testingA bat’s deteriorating carcass found in bag of prepackaged salad purchased at a Florida Walmart has prompted a recall of a limited number of cases of Fresh Express’s Organic Marketside Spring Mix. The contaminated salad is undergoing testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to rule out whether the bat had rabies and if the consumers of the salad were at risk.

“Transmission of rabies by eating a rabid animal is extremely uncommon, and the virus does not survive very long outside of the infected animal,” the CDC said in a press release. “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.”

Despite having to undergo treatment, both consumers of the salad reported being in good health and neither has any signs of rabies. CDC said is not aware of any other reports of bat material found in packaged salads.

Prepackaged lettuce affected by the recall was sold in a clear container with production code G089B19 and best-if-used-by date of APR 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, the CDC reports.

Anyone who may have already purchased the recalled product are advised to discard and not eat it. A full refund is available where purchased or by calling the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center toll-free at 800-242-5472.

People who have eaten the recalled salad and did not find animal remains are not at risk and do not need to contact their health department. However, the CDC recommends that anyone who ate salad and found animal material in it contact their health department for evaluation.