Dead bat found in packaged salad — CDC investigates rabies risk

Fresh Express issued a precautionary recall of its Organic Marketside Spring Mix salad in states in the southeastern U.S. on April 8 after a decomposing bat was found in a single five-ounce container of the salad mix in a Florida Wal-Mart.

Two people reported eating some of the salad prior to discovering the bat. The animal was sent the CDC's rabies lab for testing. Due to the animal's deteriorated condition, the CDC was not able definitively rule out the possibility that the bat had rabies.

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"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," said the CDC in a release. "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."

The CDC advises anyone who ate the recalled salad and detected animal material in the package to contact their health department for evaluation. Individuals who ate the salad and did not find animal material are not considered at risk for infection.

Humans can get rabies if they come in contact with infected saliva or brain and nervous system tissue, according to the CDC.

Rabies can be deadly — one or two people in the U.S. die from the viral illness each year. However, post-exposure treatment is nearly 100 percent effective and most deaths in the U.S. occur when people don't seek treatment.

Post-exposure rabies treatment involves one dose of immune globulin and four doses of rabies vaccine over a two-week period.

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