December 22, 2021
Fresh Express has voluntarily recalled more than 200 of its bagged salad products that may be connected to a multi-state listeria outbreak.
The recall encompasses all expiration dates of packaged salad items with product codes Z324 through Z350. Product codes can be found on the front of the packages below the expiration date.
The recalled items include a wide variety of Fresh Express, Giant Eagle, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, Signature Farms, O Organics, Simply Nature, Weis and Wellsley Farms salad products. A full list of the recalled items can be found on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's website.
The recalled products were distributed to retailers in 19 states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Grocery stores have been informed to remove all recalled items from their shelves and to stop future shipments from distribution centers. Fresh Express also halted all production at its Streamwood, Illinois facility.
The recall was initiated after a random sample of Fresh Express Sweet Hearts salad mix was found earlier this month to be contaminated with a listeria strain connected to a recent outbreak of the illness across several states.
A total of 10 infections, 10 hospitalizations and one death have been reported in eight states so far as a result of the listeria outbreak, according to the FDA. The reported illnesses have spanned over a five-year period ranging from July 2016 through October 2021.
Federal health officials had yet to respond for comment about when these infections specifically occurred and were discovered within the timeline provided. The FDA and CDC, as well as state and local health officials, are investigating the outbreak's connection to consuming packaged salad products.
Listeria infections can cause symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, confusion, loss of balance, convulsions and diarrhea.
The bacteria can also bring about severe and sometimes fatal illnesses in young children, elderly people and those with underlying health conditions. Miscarriages and stillbirths can also happen among pregnant women who fall ill from the pathogen. Anyone experiencing symptoms of a listeria infection should contact their health care provider.
Consumers should immediately throw out any recalled items they may have in their refrigerators. Surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with these products should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. The bacteria can survive in refrigerated temperatures, allowing it to contaminate other foods and surfaces.
Customers may obtain a refund by returning to the store where the recalled product was purchased or by calling the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center at 800-242-5472 from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.