Fresh Express packaged salads have been linked to a listeria infection outbreak in eight U.S. states, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.
The outbreak has caused 10 illnesses, one hospitalization and one death. It is under investigation by the FDA, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health agencies.
The illnesses started on dates ranging from July 26, 2016 to Oct. 19, 2021 and have been reported in Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
“To date, a positive sample of Fresh Express Sweet Hearts salad mix has been reported to match the outbreak strain. Fresh Express has voluntarily recalled products and consumers are advised not to eat, sell or serve any recalled products. Our investigation is ongoing, and we will continue to communicate should additional products be implicated,” Frank Yiannas, FDA deputy commissioner for food policy and response, said in an agency news release.
The Fresh Express recall includes all Use-By Dates of packaged salads with product codes Z324 through Z350. Consumers, restaurants and retailers should not eat, sell or serve them, the FDA said.
A full list of recalled products is available on the agency’s website.
Listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces, so anyone who had the recalled salad products should be extremely thorough in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with the greens to reduce the risk of cross-contamination, according to the FDA.
Consumers who have symptoms of listeria infection (listeriosis) should contact their health care provider, the agency advised.
Most people with listeriosis develop a fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. But symptoms of more severe listeriosis may include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions. Listeriosis can be fatal in the very young, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on listeria.
SOURCE: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, news release, Dec. 21, 2021