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Salinas Company Linked To Latest E. coli Outbreak

Erika Mahoney
Fresh Express, a local Salinas company, sells a range of salad kits. The Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kit has been linked to the latest E. coli outbreak.

Federal authorities are trying to figure out what has caused the latest E.coli outbreak. At least eight people have been sickened across three states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning people to not eat a specific salad kit from Fresh Express, a local Salinas company.

The CDC is warning consumers:  don’t eat a Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kit with a best before date of December 7th. The kit is a mix of ingredients including green and red cabbage, romaine lettuce, kale and carrots. It also includes a dressing and some toppings. 

Credit U.S. Food & Drug Administration
The FDA released this photo of the Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kit along with their advisory.

Authorities are investigating which ingredient is tainted. 

Abby Taylor-Silva is Vice President of the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, a regional trade association that represents about 300 different growers, shippers and processors including Fresh Express. 

“We know that consumers want to hear more than apologies and our sympathies as heartfelt as they are. And while our members have worked very hard to make needed food safety improvements, it's obvious that we must do more,” said Taylor-Silva.

This is the second E. coli outbreak with ties to this region in less than a month. Another outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from the Salinas growing region happened before Thanksgiving and has sickened over 100 people. 

Fresh Express claims they stopped production of romaine from the Salinas growing region when the November warning came out. Investigators don’t know yet whether the two outbreaks are related.


Erika joined KAZU in 2016. Her roots in radio began at an early age working for the independent community radio station in her hometown of Boulder, Colorado. After graduating from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in 2012, Erika spent four years working as a television reporter. She’s very happy to be back in public radio and loves living in the Monterey Bay Area.
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