CDC sends out investigation notice regarding packaged salad Listeria outbreaks

Health

SAN FRANCISCO – JUNE 19: Fresh Express & Ready Pak Pre-Packaged salad sits on the shelf at a Bell Market grocery store June 19, 2003 in San Francisco, California. Packaged salad which was near non-existent a decade ago has become the second fastest selling item on grocery shelves behind bottle water, overall the retail market for bagged salad is $2 billion annually. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The CDC have sent out an investigation notice after two separate Listeria outbreaks linked to packaged salads were reported.

One outbreak was linked to packaged salads produced by Fresh Express, while the other was linked to packaged salads produced by Dole.

Here is what the CDC had to say regarding the incidents:

Fresh Express Outbreak Key Points:

  • Ten people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from eight states. Ten people have been hospitalized. One death has been reported.
  • Interviews with ill people and laboratory data show that Fresh Express packaged salads may be contaminated with Listeria and may be making people sick.  
  • On December 20, 2021, Fresh Express recalled several brands of packaged salad products. The recall includes all Use-By Dates with product codes Z324 through Z350.
  • Brands include Fresh Express, Bowl & Basket, Giant Eagle, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, O Organics, Signature Farms, Simply Nature, Weis Fresh from the Field, and Wellsley Farms Organic.
  • CDC is advising people not to eat, sell, or serve any recalled products.

Dole Outbreak Key Points:

  • Sixteen people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from thirteen states. Twelve people have been hospitalized. Two deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic and recent laboratory data show that packaged salads produced by Dole may be contaminated with Listeria and making people sick.
  • Investigators found the outbreak strain of Listeria in two different packaged salads produced by Dole.
  • On December 22, 2021, Dole recalled several brands of packaged salads. The recall includes “best if used by” dates from 11/30/21 through 01/08/22.
  • Brands include Ahold, Dole, Kroger, Lidl, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, Naturally Better, Nature’s Promise, and Simply Nature.
  • CDC is advising people not to eat, sell, or serve any recalled products. Investigators are working to determine if additional products may be contaminated.

What You Should Do:

  • Do not eat any recalled packaged salads. Throw them away or return them to where you bought them.
  • Follow these five steps to cleanyour refrigerator, containers, and surfaces that may have touched the recalled packaged salads. Listeria can survive in the refrigerator and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.

In the case of an infection, the CDC recommend calling your healthcare provider as soon as possible. 

Those who are pregnant typically experience fever, fatigue, and muscle aches, but a Listeria infection can also cause pregnancy loss or premature birth on top of potential serious illness or death in newborns.

Those who are not pregnant may experience “headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions, in addition to fever and muscle aches. “

About Listeria:

  • Listeria bacteria can cause severe illness (known as invasive listeriosis) when the bacteria spread beyond the gut to other parts of the body.
  • Pregnant people typically experience only fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. However, Listeria infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
  • People who are not pregnant may experience headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions, in addition to fever and muscle aches.
  • Symptoms of severe illness usually start 1 to 4 weeks after eating food contaminated with Listeria, but may start as early as the same day or as late as 70 days after.

If you have questions about cases in your state, call your state’s health department.

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