Some prepackaged salad mixes recalled as FDA and CDC investigate listeria outbreak


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Some prepackaged salad mixes have been recalled by Fresh Express while the US Food and Drug Administration and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigate a listeria outbreak, according to a company announcement published by the FDA Monday.

A sample test of Fresh Express’ romaine and sweet butter lettuce detected listeria and was found to be a match for the strain that has been linked to 10 hospitalizations and one death since 2016, the FDA said. In response, Fresh Express voluntarily stopped production at its Illinois facility, started a sanitation review and contacted retailers who sell the potentially contaminated products so they can remove them from the shelf. 

Besides Fresh Express, other brand names of potentially contaminated items produced by the company include Signature Farms, Giant Eagle, Little Salad Bar, Bowl & Basket, Marketside, Market District, O Organics, Simply Nature, Weis Fresh From the Field and Wellsley Farms. 

Spinach, romaine, kale, coleslaw, spring mix and other prepackaged greens produced by Fresh Express and distributed to over 19 states in the Northeast and Midwest are included in the recall. The affected products are also distributed in Canada’s Ontario and Manitoba. If customers still have any recalled products listed by Fresh Farms, they should throw them away and can ask for a refund by contacting Fresh Farms or returning to the place of purchase. 

Anyone who has a recalled product in their home should also use “extra vigilance” in cleaning surfaces that may have touched the salad mix, the FDA said, because listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures.

Symptoms of listeria infection include fever, muscle aches, stiffness, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Although many people may only experience short-term or more mild symptoms (or not realize they were infected), listeria can be fatal for older adults, young children and people with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can also be dangerous in pregnant people because it can be harmful during pregnancy to newborn babies, though the person who’s pregnant may only experience mild symptoms. 

People who develop symptoms of listeria infection usually get them within several days of eating contaminated food, but some people can develop severe symptoms up to two months after eating the food, according to the CDC. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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