Parasite risk in salads and wraps sold at Kroger, Walgreens, Trader Joe's

Caito Foods of Indianapolis heard from its lettuce supplier, Fresh Express, that the chopped romaine was being recalled for possible cyclospora contamination.The "sell by" or "best by" dates on the food range from July 18 to 23.

The products recalled from Walgreens include the Santa Fe salad with chicken, Asian salad with chicken, chicken Caesar salad and the chef salad with ham and turkey.

The salads and wraps were sold at popular stores such as Trader Joe's, Walgreen's, and Kroger.

The USDA did not respond to a request for comment.

"There's no confirmation that any of the products were contaminated", Trader Joe's spokeswoman Kenya Friend-Daniel said Wednesday, adding the warning was issued "just to be safe".

Even though the products are past their "best by" dates, the USDA is concerned that they may still be in people's refrigerators. Products sold at stores in North Carolina are not affected.

The salad and wrap recall comes as a direct result of an outbreak of Cyclospora infection that began in May and was linked to McDonald's salads also supplied by Fresh Express, according to the Food and Drug Administration. It can cause intestinal distress that can last anywhere from a few days to a month or longer if not treated with antibiotics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The outbreak triggered recalls at thousands of stores.

Cyclospora is a one-celled organism that can wreak havoc on the human body's digestive system, causing explosive diarrhea, nausea and fatigue.

A public health alert was issued Monday, with the agency saying certain beef, pork and poultry salad and wraps might have cyclospora contamination.

The department said 160 cases of cyclospora infections were also linked to an Independence Day celebration July 3 at the Evanston Golf Club in Skokie. "Caito Foods LLC and FSIS are working together to remove the products from commerce".

  • Wendy Palmer