Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes: Fresh Express Packaged Salad (December 2021)

1 year ago
AMERICA NEWS NOW

The FDA and CDC, in collaboration with state and local partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. According to the CDC, as of December 21, 2021, 10 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from eight states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from July 26, 2016 to October 19, 2021.

As a part of routine sampling, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) collected a product sample of Fresh Express Sweet Hearts salad mix with a Use-By-Date of December 8, 2021 for testing. The sample tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes and subsequent whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis determined that the Listeria monocytogenes present in the samples matches the strain that has caused illnesses in this outbreak.

In response to the sample results and the ongoing outbreak investigation, Fresh Express voluntarily ceased production at the Streamwood, IL, facility and initiated a recall of certain varieties of its branded and private label salad products produced at the company’s Streamwood, Illinois facility. 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, as shown above. No other Fresh Express products are subject to recall. A full list of recalled products is available on FDA’s website.

This is an ongoing investigation and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

Recommendation

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers, should not eat, sell, or serve recalled packaged salads. A full list of recalled products is available on FDA’s website.

FDA recommends that anyone who received recalled products use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with these products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.

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