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Bat reportedly found in salad spurs CDC investigation

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Officials from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating after a dead bat allegedly was discovered by two people eating a prepackaged salad in Florida.

The CDC announced on Saturday that it is working with the Florida Department of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate. The two unnamed customers reported eating part of the salad from a Florida Wal-Mart before finding the animal, according to the CDC.

Fresh Express, which makes the packaged salads and distributes them at Wal-Mart, issued a limited recall for the Organic Marketside Spring Mix on Saturday.

"The recall was necessitated when Fresh Express was notified that extraneous animal matter was allegedly found in a single container of the salad," the company said in a statement. "Out of an abundance of caution, all salads manufactured in the same production run are being recalled."

Officials from Fresh Express also said that the company “seriously and rigorously complies with all food safety regulations” and highlighted the many steps that are taken to safeguard food quality.

“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,” company officials said. "In manufacturing, additional controls including thorough washing and filtration systems as well as visual inspections that are designed to eliminate unwanted debris."

The bat remains were sent to a CDC laboratory for rabies testing, but due to its deteriorated condition, CDC investigators could not rule out it if it had been infected with rabies.

"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," the CDC said in a statement.

The two people who ate the salad are currently in good health with no sign of rabies infection and there have been no other reports of bat carcasses found in any other packaged salads, according to the CDC.

The CDC is also recommending that anyone else who ate the recalled salad and found animal material in it contact their local health department. Customers who have purchased the salad can return it for a full refund or call the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center toll-free at (800) 242-5472 during the hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time for help.

Fresh Express released the information below about which salad mix is being recalled:

"The item subject to the recall is 5 oz. Organic Marketside Spring Mix marketed in a clear container with production code G089B19 and best-if-used-by date of APR 14, 2017 located on the front label, and UPC code 6 8113132897 5 located on the bottom of the container. The recalled salads were distributed only to Walmart stores located in the Southeastern region of the United States."

Additional information on the investigation can be found here.

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