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Listeria outbreak linked to packaged salads

Posted at 3:30 PM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 20:00:38-05

The federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention is investigating two Listeria outbreaks, both of which are linked to packaged salads. The outbreaks have resulted in 26 people becoming sick, three deaths, and 22 hospitalizations.

One outbreak is linked to packaged salads produced by Fresh Express; the other is linked to packaged salads produced by Dole.

Listeria Outbreak Linked to Packaged Salads by Fresh Express
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 recalledexternal icon 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.

Listeria Outbreak Linked to Packaged Salads by Dole
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 clean your 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.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have these symptoms of Listeria infection after eating packaged salads.

  • Pregnant people usually experience only fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. However, Listeriacan cause pregnancy loss or premature birth. It can also cause serious illness or death in newborns.
  • People 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 a particular state, please call that state’s health department.