Salmonella linked to veggie trays sold at Kwik Trip
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is issuing a recall on a popular brand of vegetable trays for salmonella contamination. This comes less than a year after similar products from the company sickened hundreds of people with an illness called Cyclospora.
Vegetable trays are linked to four cases of salmonella between Minnesota and Wisconsin. "These vegetable trays are ready to eat products so when consumers buy them, they expect them to be safe. They don't expect to have to cook them or go through any kind of kill step to make sure that what they're eating is free from bacteria," said Lindsay Lien Rinholen, Food Safety Attorney with Pritzker Hageman, P.A.
In June of 2018, an Eau Claire woman filed a lawsuit against Kwik Trip and Del Monte fresh produce after getting sick from vegetable trays she bought. Lien Rinholen is part of a legal team representing more than 100 people who say they became sick in the Del Monte Cyclospora outbreak.
She says to date Del Monte has not offered to settle any of her client's cases. Less than a year later, a new investigation is underway, this time over reports of salmonella. "This is exactly the same kind of product from exactly the same producer and again sold through Kwik Trip," said Lien Rinholen. She says the company has a poor track record for food safety and questions how this can happen again.
The Eau Claire City-County Health Department says food safety is all about prevention. "Prevention is the best. We need to get that word out there because there's lots of other things out there not just salmonella," said Paulette Magur, Communicable Disease Division Manager.
The current outbreak involves reported illnesses between April 13 and April 27, though more cases could later be linked. "If people have been sick lately after eating the products that they're concerned about, the del monte vegetables from any distributor to seek medical care," said Magur.
Lien Rinholen says at this point there are more questions than answers about what went wrong and why. “Particularly in respect to Kwik Trip, did they just go back to selling the same product without any other assurances...we don’t know that and so that’s something I think for the folks of western Wisconsin who are a bit loyal to Kwik Trip want to know," she said.
Kwik Trip has removed all Del Monte vegetable trays from its stores. Del Monte vegetable trays may also have been distributed to other retailers in Wisconsin. Investigation for product distribution is on-going.