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Salad recall 2021: Fresh Express recalls products sold in 19 state, Canada due to deadly listeria outbreak; FDA investigating


STREAMWOOD, Ill. — You may want to take a close look inside your refrigerator before making meals this holiday season.

Fresh Express announces a recall for numerous kinds of its branded and private label salad products made at the company’s Illinois facility.

Officials say the items in question may be tainted with listeria monocytogenes.

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

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Recalled salad items were distributed through retailers in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States, as well as distributors and retailers in Canada. U.S. distribution includes the states of CT, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, ND, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, WI. Canadian distribution includes the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba.

The recall includes all Use-By Dates of fresh salad items with product codes Z324 through Z350. Product codes are located on the front of the packages below the Use-By Date. No other Fresh Express products are subject to recall.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday it is investigating a multistate outbreak of listeria infections connected to Fresh Express packaged salads, which announced a recall of some of its products.

Ten people have become ill, 10 have been hospitalized and one person has died across eight states in the listeria outbreak. The illness started between July 2016 and October 2021, the FDA said.

The recall was necessitated when the Michigan Department of Agriculture received a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes in a random sample test of a single package of Fresh Express 9 oz. Sweet Hearts salad mix with Use-By Date of December 8, 2021, manufactured at the Fresh Express Streamwood facility. The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported ten illnesses associated with the strain of Listeria monocytogenes detected in the random sample beginning in 2016 to the present.

Fresh Express has stopped all work at that facility in Streamwood as a sanitation review is underway, CNN reported. Fresh Express has already been in contact with retailers who received the recalled items, instructing them to remove them from store shelves and stop any further shipments to stores from distribution centers and other inventories.

“Fresh Express immediately halted all production at the Streamwood facility and initiated a complete sanitation review,” the company said in a statement. “Fresh Express has already been in contact with retailers who received the recalled items, instructing them to remove them from store shelves and stop any further shipments to stores from distribution centers and other inventories.”

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“We will continue to work with our partners and with Fresh Express to determine the source of this outbreak,” said Frank Yiannas, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for food policy and response. “We remain committed to transparency and providing updates as we learn more during our continuing traceback investigation.”

Consumers are advised to return the recalled products to the place of purchase.

For a full list of products, visit the FDA website.

CNN and The Associated Press contributed to this post.





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