FDA Investigating Listeria Outbreak Connected To Popular Bagged Salad

By Jason Hall

December 22, 2021

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Photo: Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration announced its investigation into a multistate listeria outbreak reported to be linked to Fresh Express packaged salads amid a recall of several of the popular brand's products.

“The FDA, along with the CDC and our state and local partners, is working to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenesinfections," the FDA said in a news release shared on its website. "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. 

The agency confirmed 10 individuals were hospitalized due to infections, including one person that died from the disease, in eight states: Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The infections are reported to have taken place between July 2016 and October 2021.

Fresh Express announced a recall on "certain varieties of its branded and private label salad products" produced at its Streamwood, Illinois facility amid the listeria outbreak in a press release shared through PressWire on Monday (December 20).

The recall includes all Use-By Dates of Fresh Express fresh salad items that include the product codes Z324 through Z350.

"This organism can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems," the press release stated. "Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea,Listeriainfection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Consumers with these symptoms should consult their health care provider."

The FDA said it will continue to work with its partners and alongside Fresh Express to determine the source of the outbreak amid its ongoing investigation, with more information expected to be released when it becomes available.

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