Fresh Express Recalls Salad Products in 19 States After Potential Listeria Contamination

Over 100 salad products have been pulled from shelves after a sample tested positive for a type of bacteria called listeria.

Fresh Express is recalling certain salad products due to listeria contamination, according to a statement released on Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The recall—which was officially announced Monday by the company—affects more than 100 different products distributed across 19 states in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States as well as two provinces in Canada. On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced they were investigating the outbreak along with another listeria outbreak in Dole salad products.

The FDA announcement lists all of the affected products, but overall, "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," according to the release. No other Fresh Express products are impacted by the contamination.

Fresh Express Salad Recall
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The recall comes after a single package of Fresh Express 9 oz. Sweet Hearts salad mix tested positive for the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes during a random sample test. Following detection of the bacteria, Fresh Express halted all production at the company's Streamwood, Illinois facility—the factory at which the potentially contaminated were produced—and initiated a "complete sanitation review." The company has also contacted retailers to remove the affected products from store shelves and stopped any further shipments to stores.

When products are contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, it can be a big deal: Consuming products with listeria can result in a serious infection called listeriosis for some, according to the CDC. In otherwise healthy individuals, listeriosis can cause short-term, mild symptoms, including:

However, listeriosis can cause more serious illness or sometimes fatal infections in young children, elderly people, or others with weakened immune systems, per the FDA. It's also a serious threat to pregnant people, who are 10 times more likely to get listeriosis than the general population, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. While illness is usually mild, it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or preterm labor.

If you've ingested any of the affected Fresh Express products and begin experiencing any of the symptoms associated with listeriosis, the FDA advises that you reach out to your health care provider promptly. Even if you don't feel ill immediately, the CDC says it's possible to develop symptoms within two months after you've eaten the potentially infected food. It's especially important to seek medical care if you develop symptoms and are pregnant, over the age of 65, or have a weakened immune system.

If you currently have any Fresh Express products in your fridge, the FDA recommends you cross-check it with the full list of recalled products found on the FDA's website. If your product is part of the recall, you should immediately discard it and call the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center at 800-242-5472 for a refund.

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