Investigation Details

Posted July 28, 2021

July 28, 2021

Epidemiologic and traceback data show that BrightFarms brand packaged salad greens may be contaminated with Salmonella and may be making people sick.

Laboratory Data

FDA visited the farm and collected samples. Environmental samples were positive for a different strain of Salmonella called Liverpool. Investigators are using the PulseNet system to see if there are any people infected with this strain of Salmonella Liverpool.

Public Health Actions

On July 28, 2021, BrightFarms updated their recallexternal icon to include the BrightFarms Baby Spinach product because of the positive environmental samples.

CDC advises people not to eat, sell, or serve any recalled BrightFarms packaged salad greens.

Previous Updates

Epidemiologic and traceback data show that BrightFarms brand packaged salad greens may be contaminated with Salmonella and may be making people sick.

Since the last update on July 16, 2021, two more illnesses and one new state have been reported.

Epidemiologic and Traceback Data

As of July 22, 2021, 11 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from three states (see map). Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 10, 2021, to July 1, 2021 (see timeline).

Sick people range in age from 19 to 61 years, with a median age of 47, and 64% are female. Two 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.

Officials from Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin 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.

All 11 people reported eating leafy greens, and nine (82%) people reported eating prepackaged salads. The percentage of people in this outbreak who ate prepackaged salads was significantly higher than the 38% of respondents from the FoodNet Population Survey who reported eating prepackaged salads in the prior week. This comparison suggests that people in this outbreak got sick from eating prepackaged salads.

Interview data and shopper card records show that seven 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, IL, as the likely source of packaged salad greens bought by sick people.

Laboratory Data

FDA visited the farm and collected samples. More information will be provided once available.

WGS analysis of bacteria from eight sick people’s samples did not predict resistance to any antibiotics. Standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory is currently underway.

Public Health Actions

On July 21, 2021, BrightFarms updated their recallexternal icon to add Michigan as an additional state where recalled products were distributed.

CDC advises people not to eat, sell, or serve any recalled BrightFarms packaged salad greens.

Epidemiologic and traceback data show that BrightFarms brand packaged salad greens may be contaminated with Salmonella and may be making people sick.

Since the last update on July 15, 2021, one more illness has been reported from Wisconsin.

Epidemiologic and Traceback Data

As of July 16, 2021, nine people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from two states (see map). Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 10, 2021, to June 15, 2021 (see timeline).

Sick people range in age from 19 to 61 years, with a median age of 44, and 56% are female. One person was hospitalized, and 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.

Officials from Illinois and Wisconsin 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.

All nine people reported eating leafy greens, and seven (78%) people reported eating prepackaged salads. The percentage of people in this outbreak who ate prepackaged salads was significantly higher than the 38% of respondents from the FoodNet Population Survey who reported eating prepackaged salads in the prior week. This comparison suggests that people in this outbreak got sick from eating prepackaged salads.

Interview data and shopper card records show that six 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, IL, as the likely source of packaged salad greens bought by sick people.

Laboratory Data

WGS analysis of six people’s samples did not predict resistance to any antibiotics. Standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory is currently underway.

Public Health Actions

On July 15, 2021, BrightFarms recalledexternal icon their packaged salad greens produced in the Rochelle, IL, greenhouse farm.

CDC advises people not to eat, sell, or serve any recalled BrightFarms packaged salad greens.

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are collecting different types of data to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections.

Epidemiologic and traceback data show that BrightFarms brand Sunny Crunch salad may be contaminated with Salmonella and may be making people sick.

Epidemiologic and Traceback Data

As of July 14, 2021, eight people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from two states (see map). Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 10, 2021, to June 15, 2021 (see timeline).

Sick people range in age from 31 to 61 years, with a median age of 46, and 63% are female. No hospitalizations or 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.

Officials from Illinois and Wisconsin 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.

All eight people reported eating leafy greens, and seven (88%) people reported eating prepackaged salads. The percentage of people in this outbreak who ate prepackaged salads was significantly higher than the 38% of respondents from the FoodNet Population Survey. This comparison suggests that people in this outbreak got sick from eating prepackaged salads.

Interview data and shopper card records show that five people ate or bought BrightFarms brand Sunny Crunch salad before they got sick. FDA conducted a traceback investigation and identified the farm in Rochelle, IL, as the likely source of the BrightFarms brand Sunny Crunch salad bought by sick people.

Laboratory Data

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. CDC PulseNet manages a national database of DNA fingerprints of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. DNA fingerprinting is performed on bacteria using a method called whole genome sequencing (WGS). WGS showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples are closely related genetically. This suggests that people in this outbreak got sick from the same food.

WGS analysis of five people’s samples did not predict resistance to any antibiotics. Standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory is currently underway.

Public Health Actions

CDC advises people not to eat, sell, or serve BrightFarms brand Sunny Crunch salad produced in Rochelle, IL.