The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised consumers in Maryland not to purchase or eat a specific lot of Ready Pac Bistro Chicken Caesar Salad amid an ongoing investigation into an E. coli outbreak that’s sickened at least 17 people across eight states, seven of whom required hospitalization.
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The health agency said it’s not likely that the item, which was part of Lot #255406963, and marked with UPC 0 77745 27249 8 and was sold in Sam’s Club stores in Maryland, is still available. It was packaged with a “Best By” date of Oct. 31.
The agency also said that though the patients in Maryland had reported eating the product, the cases confirmed in other states did not involve this particular salad.
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The advisory comes after state testing of an unopened salad taken from an ill patient’s home identified the presence of E. coli 0157 in the product’s romaine lettuce. The FDA said the lettuce may have come from farms in Salinas, Calif.
E. coli symptoms may vary from person to person, with some experiencing severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting while others develop a fever. Most patients recover within five to seven days, but other cases can be severe or even life-threatening, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).