CDC issues warning after possible rabid bat found in Fla. residents’ salad

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – A nationwide recall is in place after two Floridians found a dead bat in their salad. Now, health experts are worried the bat may have had rabies.

Over the weekend, Walmart stores across the southeast removed the Organic Marketside Spring Mix salad from their shelves. Officials said two Floridians ate the salad and found a dead, decomposed bat among the greens. Now, multiple agencies are investigating after the CDC announced the animal could’ve had rabies.

This situation is not only disgusting, it could be dangerous.

“By the time symptoms manifest in a person, it’s too late. Rabies is almost always fatal,” said Tom Higginbotham, the Environmental Health Director with the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County.

Higginbotham said the deadly disease is normally transferred by saliva.

“It’s very unusual for people to get rabies by consuming an animal that is positive for rabies,” said Higginbotham.

Regardless, the CDC is urging people to inspect their food and seek medical attention if they’ve eaten the salads in the recall.

The salads have a marked production code that says “G089B19” and best-if-used-by date of APR 14, 2017.

Kim White is surprised the bat ended up there.

“It probably went through, like, a triple washing system before it’s bagged,” said White.

She owns the Fruitville Grove farmer’s market. She and her team thoroughly inspect the produce sold here. She recommends you carefully inspect your salad before you buy it. Or just buy local ingredients and make a salad yourself.

“If you get things like onions and cucumbers and lettuce straight in their original condition, there’s nothing hidden here. This is an onion, you know it’s an onion and there’s no bats in it,” said White.

The two people who ate the salad are not showing any symptoms. But, if you ate a salad involved in the recall, call the health department for more information. The salads were distributed by a company called “Fresh Express.” Contact them for a full refund.

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