kale salad recall listeria

Toronto's favourite kale salad kit was just recalled for Listeria

If you've got a bag of ready-to-assemble "sweet kale salad" in your fridge right now — you know the kind I'm talking about — check the expiration date.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a recall notice for Eat Smart brand Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad Bag Kits sold across Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada in recent weeks.

Affected products can be found in 794 gram bags which may bear the codes "JUL 17 2019," "2019 JL 17," or "2 00 183," according to the government regulator.

"Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick," warns the CFIA, which issued the recall on July 9.

"Symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness... In severe cases of illness, people may die."

No deaths or illnesses have yet been linked to the recalled product, officials say, which is lucky given the ubiquity of that particular kale salad kit.

Known for being as easy to whip up as it is impressive-looking, Eat Smart's kale salad kit has become overwhelmingly popular in millennial households (and on the pot-luck circuit) since hitting grocery stores in 2013.

The company, one of North America's largest fresh-cut vegetable distributors, bills its kale salad as a "nationwide top seller" and plays up the product's "blend of seven superfoods" heavily.

Poppyseed dressing and excessive dried cranberries aside, it is a damn healthy food item — when it doesn't contain dangerous pathogens.

The CFIA notes in its warning that the recall was triggered by test results, and that a full investigation which may lead to the recall of more products is now underway. 

"If other products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings," reads the notice. "The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled product from the marketplace."

Those who believe they may have any affected packages of kale salad at home should throw them out, says the government, or return them to where they were purchased for a refund.

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