‘We meet all standards’ Fresh Express uses Pinto defense after dead bat found in salad

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working with the Florida Department of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support an investigation of a dead bat that was found in a packaged salad purchased from a grocery store in Florida. Two people in Florida reported eating some of the salad before the bat was found. The bat was sent to the CDC rabies lab for laboratory testing because bats in the United States sometimes have been found to have this disease. The deteriorated condition of the bat did not allow for CDC to definitively rule out whether this bat had rabies.

Transmission of rabies by eating a rabid animal is extremely uncommon, and the virus does not survive very long outside of the infected animal. CDC is supporting Florida local and state health officials in evaluating the people who found the bat in the salad. In this circumstance, the risk of rabies transmission is considered to be very low, but because it isn’t zero, the two people who ate salad from the package that contained the bat were recommended to begin post-exposure rabies treatment. Both people report being in good health and neither has any signs of rabies. CDC is not aware of any other reports of bat material found in packaged salads.

On April 8, 2017, Fresh Express issued a recall of a limited number of cases of Organic Marketside Spring Mix. The salads were sold in a clear container with production code G089B19 and best-if-used-by date of APR 14, 2017 located on the front label. The recalled salads were distributed only to Walmart stores located in the Southeastern region of the United States. All remaining packages of salad from the same lot have been removed from all store locations where the salad was sold.

The company said in a statement it worked quickly with officials to remove the entire batch of salads from store shelves, and only one line of its products had been affected.

“Fresh Express takes matters of food safety very seriously and rigorously complies with all food safety regulations including the proscribed Good Agricultural Practices.”

Maybe install bat filters as the lettuce goes through a wash?

Bangladesh bans sale of palm sap after bat poop with Nipha virus kills 35

The N.Y. Times reports that Bangladesh is suffering an outbreak of deadly Nipah virus, causing the government to adopt an unusual prevention tactic: a ban on the sale of fresh palm sap.

The virus, carried by bats, was identified only in 1999. It causes dangerous brain inflammation in humans and is infectious. The Bangladeshi outbreak is unusually lethal, killing 35 of the 40 people known to have been infected.

The first known outbreak of Nipah virus was in Malaysia, where most victims raised or butchered pigs that were the source of infection. The pigs are believed to have rooted beneath bat colonies in trees, eating food contaminated by droppings. But the Bangladesh outbreak happened without a swine vector.

Bangladeshis like drinking date palm sap, which is gathered “in a way similar to maple syrup collection,” said Dr. Jonathan H. Epstein, a veterinarian with the EcoHealth Alliance, which is helping Bangladesh track the virus.

Gatherers called gachis climb high into the trees, shave the bark with machetes and hang clay pots on the trunks to collect the sap at night. Large fruit bats called Indian flying foxes are attracted and lap up the running sap, sometimes fouling the pots with their saliva, urine or feces.

Many people in the tropics leave palm sap to ferment into wine — and fermentation might kill the virus. But most Bangladeshis are Muslim, and do not drink alcohol, Dr. Epstein said.
 

Bat poop sickens ND courthouse workers

Bats in the belfry – or North Dakota’s McLean County Courthouse –and their poop has seriously sickened at least two employees with histoplasmosis, caused by inhalation of spores from bat guano.

The Bismarck Tribune reports the county has battled a bat problem for years, bringing in specialists to try to seal the old building, trap the bats and remove a thick covering of guano in the courthouse attic.