Monday, the FDA, along with the CDC in collaboration with the state and local partners published an announcement that some prepackaged salad mixes happened to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
Listeria Monocytogenes Found in Fresh Salad
Fresh Express’ romaine and sweet butter lettuce samples tested positive for listeria, the FDA said. The strain has been connected to ten illnesses and one death since 2016, the FDA said. Fresh Express responded by suspending production at its Illinois plant, initiating a sanitation investigation, and contacting merchants that sell the possibly contaminated items to request that they remove them off the shelf.
Apart from Fresh Express, the company’s other brands include Signature Farms, Giant Eagle, Little Salad Bar, Bowl & Basket, Marketside, Market District, O Organics, Simply Nature, Weis Fresh From the Field, and Wellsley Farms.
The recall affects spinach, romaine, kale, coleslaw, spring mix, and other prepared greens shipped by Fresh Express in more than 19 states in the Northeast and Midwest. The recalled items are also supplied in Ontario and Manitoba, Canada. If consumers still have any of the recalled items specified by Fresh Farms, they should discard them and contact Fresh Farms or return them to the point of purchase for a refund.
Anyone who owns a recalled product should exercise “heightened care” while cleaning surfaces that may have come into contact with the salad mix, the FDA said, since listeria may persist at refrigerated conditions.
The Effect of the Listeria
Fever, muscular pains, stiffness, stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are all symptoms of listeria infection. While many individuals suffer only transient or moderate symptoms (or are unaware they have been infected), listeria may be deadly in elderly adults, small children, and persons with compromised immune systems. Listeria infection may also be risky for pregnant women since it can be damaging to unborn infants throughout pregnancy, even if the pregnant woman only has moderate symptoms.
The CDC reports that although most individuals show symptoms of listeria infection within a few days of consuming contaminated food, some people may develop severe symptoms up to two months after eating the food.