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Over 230 Walmart Stores Sold This Newly Recalled Produce

Parasites are not what you want in your salad.

A tossed salad could end up being an unhealthy meal after a consumer advisory warning was recently issued for a produce item sold at Walmart. While many conscientious eaters may mix together grape tomatoes, lettuce, shredded carrots, crumbled feta, and maybe some nuts and dressing – what you're not expecting in your salad is parasites.

Ocean Mist Farms brand Romaine Hearts lettuce in a 22 oz. package has been recalled at Walmart locations in nine states due to a Cyclospora parasite being found during a routine surveillance sampling. Cyclospora is known to cause cyclosporiasis, a diarrheal disease, which causes watery, and sometimes explosive, diarrhea. While no illnesses have been confirmed, Walmart stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Minnesota carried the potentially infected product. To see a full list of the 230+ stores, click here.

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The Ocean Mist Farms brand Romaine Hearts lettuce

The parasitic infection may last a few days or weeks. Symptoms include frequent, watery diarrhea, bouts of diarrhea alternating with bouts of constipation, loss of appetite and weight loss, bloating, flatulence and burping, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting, muscle aches, fever, and prolonged fatigue in addition to a general feeling of unwellness. Those that have been exposed to the parasite will typically become ill after about a week of eating the contaminated food, with an estimation of 2-14 days before symptoms appear, according to the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Dehydration due to excessive diarrhea can result from consuming the Cyclospora parasite. Those infected should seek a doctor if they have sunken eyes, dry mouth, or decreased urine output, or prior complications according to the Mayo Clinic. Typically, the parasite is most common for those traveling to developing nations, but it has occasionally been seen in the United States.

For those concerned about having purchased the romaine hearts, coding on the bag would indicate 22RHDM2L, a harvest date of March 10, and be grown in Coachella, CA. If found, it is encouraged to throw the food away, rather than wash the lettuce. Even careful washing of infected produce isn't enough to eliminate Cyclospora.

Should you ever have a recalled grocery item in your home, the best way to prevent getting sick after removing the item is to clean. Follow These Two Steps to Sanitize Your Kitchen, Expert Says.

Amber Lake
Amber Lake is a staff writer at Eat This, Not That! and has a degree in journalism from UNF in Jacksonville, Florida. Read more about Amber