Unconventional salad topping

Bat+found+in+salad+of+southeastern+Floridians.
Bat found in salad of southeastern Floridians.

Bat found in salad of southeastern Floridians.

Bat found in salad of southeastern Floridians.

Megan Raynor, Staff Writer

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How would you feel if you were about to munch on a fresh, healthy salad only to find a decomposing bat hidden in your lettuce leaves? This horrific incident occurred recently to two unsuspecting people in southeast Florida. The report of the bat remains has initiated a mass recall of over 600 products from the large corporation Fresh Express and has also triggered a widespread feeling of disgust.

The victims of the disgusting occurrence had purchased a five-ounce, clear container of Organic Marketside Spring Mix, a seemingly safe and healthy purchase. However, to the consumers’ horrified surprise, they found deteriorated bat remains within their salad. Despite its decomposed condition, the bat was classified as a Mexican free-tailed bat, a species commonly found throughout the United States, Central America, and southwestern South America. Immediately after the report of the incident, the bat remains were sent to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory to be tested for rabies, as the virus commonly affects the species but the remains were too decomposed to tell if the rabies virus was present. This was a necessary precaution because in extremely rare occasions the rabies virus can be transmitted through consuming an infected animal. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention regulates and investigates cases like these and have advised the consumers to begin post-exposure rabies treatment as a safety precaution. Fortunately, the victims are reportedly in good health and show no signs of the rabies virus.

As a result of this unsettling incident, the corporation that produces the salads, Fresh Express, has issued a recall on 600 cases of Organic Marketside Spring Mix with the expiration date of April 14th, 2017  that were distributed to various Walmarts of southeastern Florida. According to a statement published by Fresh Express on www.prnewswire.com/ “In addition, a range of stringent controls are in place during growing and harvesting to mitigate against field material from entering the raw product system.  In manufacturing, additional controls including thorough washing and filtration systems as well as visual inspections that are designed to eliminate unwanted debris.” While there is no clear explanation on how the remains ended up the greens, there is hope that the incident will cause companies to take further cautions in providing safe food for their consumers and also serve as a reminder to consumers to be cautious towards their pre-packaged food purchases.

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