BuzzFeed spoke to Jacqui, who said she knew the worms had to have come from the bagged salad because she was struggling with an eating disorder at the time, and bagged salads were all she was eating.
When Jaqui went to the doctor, he hadn't seen a case like hers before. "He didn’t even want to look at the pictures I had taken or the stool sample! It actually freaked him out a little! He immediately called in the infectious disease doctor to take a look and diagnose. Like I said in the video, the ID doctor was extremely excited about it. I live in Montana, where parasitic infections are rare to nonexistent so I think this was his weird version of Christmas morning!"
BuzzFeed spoke to Dr. Supriya Rao, a board-certified physician specializing in internal medicine, gastroenterology, and obesity medicine, to learn more about how this could happen. "Along with hookworm and whipworm, Ascaris is known as a soil-transmitted helminth (worm) and comprises the vast majority of parasitic infections in the world," Dr. Rao explained. "It's not that common in the US but can definitely still be seen. In fact, I've seen a few during colonoscopy. But overall, this is a very rare occurrence and is not isolated to bagged produce."
"Ascaris live in the intestines and are transmitted via fecal-oral route," Dr. Rao continued. "Worm eggs can be deposited in the soil (ie: from people defecating outside, or if infected stool is used as fertilizer for plants) and people can ingest these eggs if they eat fruits or vegetables that are not correctly cleaned/peeled/cooked. In Jacqui's case, it's possible that the bagged salad was infected with eggs and if it wasn't washed, the eggs can persist and enter the body. In general, bagged produce should still be cleaned thoroughly if being used for a salad — even if it says that it was pre-washed. Cooking will also kill worm eggs."