Foodborne Illnesses / Salmonella /

BrightFarms salads responsible for Salmonella Outbreak in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois

Thirty one people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from four states - Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 10, 2021, to August 18, 2021.

Sick people range in age from 1 to 86 years, with a median age of 44, and 60% are female. four people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.

State health officials interviewed people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick and collected shopper card records to determine what products they bought. Of the 27 people interviewed, 26 (96%) reported eating leafy greens. Among those 26 people, 22 (85%) reported eating prepackaged salads.

Interview data and shopper card records show that 15 people ate or bought a variety of BrightFarms packaged salad greens before they got sick, including Sunny Crunch, 50/50 Spring & Spinach, Harvest Crunch, and Butter Crisp. FDA conducted a traceback investigation and identified BrightFarms greenhouse farm in Rochelle, Illinois, as the likely source of packaged salad greens bought by sick people.

FDA visited BrightFarms greenhouse farm in Rochelle, Illinois, and collected samples for testing. They found a different Salmonella strain (Salmonella Liverpool) in an indoor pond where BrightFarms grew lettuce. The PulseNet system did not identify anyone who got sick from this strain. FDA also found the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium in an outdoor storm water drainage pond beside the farm. However, investigators were unable to determine how this pond became contaminated.

BrightFarms salad greens produced in Rochelle, IL that have been recalled:

  • Product names:
    • 50/50 Spring & Spinach
    • Butter Crisp
    • Harvest Crunch
    • Lakeside Crunch
    • Mighty Romaine
    • Nutrigreens
    • Spring Crunch
    • Spring Mix
    • Sunny Crunch
  • Packaged in clear, plastic clamshell containers
  • Labeled “fresh from Rochelle, IL”
  • “Best by” dates through 7/29/2021
  • Distributed to at least five states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin)
  • See the recall notice for more information

Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to exam and identify illnesses linked to this outbreak. Using DNA fingerprinting of bacteria, a method called whole genome sequencing, they were able to determine that samples from those who became ill were all part of the same outbreak.

The investigation of this Salmonella outbreak is concluded at this time.

Salmonella: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clarkhave represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $800 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants. The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

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