Fresh Express Recalls Salad Products in 19 States Due to Possible Listeria Contamination, FDA Investigates Outbreak

Growing lettuce
Growing lettuce

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Following a multistate listeria outbreak, the Food and Drug Administration is investigating a connection between the infections to Fresh Express packaged salads.

On Dec. 20, Fresh Express recalled several branded and private label fresh salad products produced at the company's Streamwood, IL facility because of possible listeria contamination.

The recall includes products with product codes Z324 through Z350 and all Use-By dates (product codes are located on the front of packages below the Use-By date).

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Reported illnesses started on dates ranging from July 26, 2016, to Oct. 19, 2021 and during this time ten people have become ill, ten people have been hospitalized and one person has died across eight states in this listeria outbreak, the FDA said.

Most people who consume food contaminated with listeria experience symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The illness can be fatal for the very young, elderly and immune-compromised.

Anyone who is infected is urged by health officials to contact their health care provider.

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The recall affects Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States, as well as distributors and retailers in Canada. In the U.S., the salad products were distributed in Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. In Canada, the products were distributed in the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba.

The FDA recommends that anyone who received recalled products should discard the items. In addition, they recommend carefully cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces that may have come in contact with these products because listeria can survive in cool temperatures and easily spread to other foods.