Whole Foods Announces Spinach Recall Over Salmonella Concerns

Whole Foods is most famous for its quality produce that comes at a somewhat hefty price, but this week the retail grocery chain is in the news because of a recall announcement.  Indeed, Whole Foods Market is recalling pizza, salads, wraps, and sandwiches that contain baby spinach over possible salmonella concerns.  

According to Whole Foods Market, the products in question were ready-to-eat, as well as salad and “hot bar” products that had baby spinach.  The United States Food and Drug Administration potentially contaminated products would have been sold through Wednesday of this week at Whole Food grocery stores in Maine, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Florida and Massachusetts.  

Symptoms of infection from salmonella include diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and fever.  Essentially it can seem, at first, much like the stomach flu; however, symptoms can be more severe—even deadly—in children, the elderly, and in those with weaker immune systems.   Symptoms typically first appear within three days of exposure with a duration of only up to about seven days.  As such, health officials advise anyone who may have been exposed to this contamination and experience the symptoms—especially high fever, bloody diarrhea, or severe dehydration—should contact their doctor.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate there are approximately 1.2 million cases of salmonella contamination—resulting in 450 deaths—in the United States, alone, every year. 

The Whole Foods Market products affected by the recall include sandwiches and salads, of course, but also pizzas and entrees packaged in 5-oz, 10-oz, and 16-oz clamshells and have lot numbers 18494 or 18513 for spinach or 18520 for mesclun.  The sell by dates for these products are between Jan 24 and Jan 29 of this year. There are a total of 55 Whole Foods Market products affected by this recall. 

Fortunately, no illnesses related to this possible contamination have been reported. In this case, Amazon-owned Whole Foods issued the recall after a supplier had initiated one. That supplier is Satur Farms, which is located in Cutchogue, New York. In response to the recall, too, Satur Farms has commented, “We’ve already made some modifications to our safety protocols,” noting that testing new batches has turned up no contamination from salmonella or other pathogens.  

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