Investigation of E. Coli for Leafy Greens

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 12, 2019
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

CDC has identified a new outbreak of E. coli infections linked to leafy greens, with cases in the United States and Canada. Data indicates that Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp salads are a likely source of this outbreak. Look for information identifying this product on the front of the package and do not eat, serve, or sell it.

A CDC food safety alert about this investigation has been posted:

Key points:

  • CDC, along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and several states, is investigating an outbreak of eight coli O157:H7 infections in three states: Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
    • Canada has reported 16 people infected with the same strain.
  • Three people have been hospitalized, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported
  • This outbreak is caused by a different strain of coli than the current outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from the Salinas, California, growing region.
  • Romaine is one of the ingredients in the Sunflower Crisp salad kit, but the investigation is ongoing to determine what ingredient in the salad kit was contaminated.

CDC’s advice to consumers, retailers, and restaurants:

  • Do not eat, sell, or serve Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits with this identifying information:
    • UPC 0 71279 30906 4, beginning with lot code Z, and a best-before date up to and including 07DEC19.
    • This information is printed on the front of the bag in the top right corner.
    • Retailers and restaurants should not sell or serve this salad kit.

About Shiga toxin-producing E. coli:

  • People get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli an average of 3 to 4 days after swallowing the germ. Most people get diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps, and vomiting.
  • Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.
  • Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out.
  • For more information on E. coli:

If you have questions about cases in a specific state, please call that state’s health department.


CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

Page last reviewed: December 12, 2019